5 Ways To Build Influence At Work by Business Consultants Head4Performance
Being able to influence in at work is critical for success. Whatever your role being able to gain influence at a meeting, within a team or as a leader being able to influence has lots of advantages. Learning this skill takes time and effort and there are many ways to cultivate it.
Here are 5 ways for you increase your influence.
Being flexible is the key to being able to influence. Actively show your flexibility by negotiating and compromising when trying to find a way forward. While you may believe your way is the right way, considering others views and approaches is important. Asking questions and reflecting what you have heard in your responses shows you have considered others views in your decisions. If you are seen as stubborn and immovable then you are less likely to be respected therefore reducing your ability to influence others
Building trust with your colleagues
Influence is most often and most easily carried through trust. If you are trusted by your colleagues then they are open to your influence. Building trust takes time but showing that you do what you say, keep your promises, be consistent with this and being honest goes a long way towards building that relationship.
Build consistency, which in turn builds credibility. Building a reputation for completing actions, tasks and projects consistently on time and delivering results means people will start to rely on your behaviour and being a consistent performer. This in turn increases your credibility of being a person who consistently delivers results, therefore gaining influence becomes easier as people consider you on the merits of your previous results and the consistency of them.
Put yourself in their shoes
When influencing colleagues it is important to understand where they are coming from. If you are wanting to influence a change in behaviour or process this is particularly critical to know. Ask yourself what would be important to them? What questions will they have? Have I thought about what the change will mean to them?. Before you suggest ways forward always check what they would like to happen. Remember influencing is a two way street incorporating their ideas in the change is key to success.
Focus on actions not arguments
Show rather than tell. Setting the example and demonstrating your perspective through showing how it has worked before or evidencing real life examples to support your views helps to bring it alive for your colleagues. Asking them to share their experiences and test the change first can also be useful. Arguments only cause delay and upset therefore before you decide on a way forward make sure you create an atmosphere of mutual respect and trust rather than distrust and fear.
Influence is built over time but taking the 5 steps above enables you to start or continue your journey.
About Head4Performance – we are business consultants, based in Bristol, and specialise in leadership development, business coaching, organisational culture change and personal development. For more information on building influence at work please telephone 0117 230 1627