The ability to influence others is a core leadership skill that can come in handy regardless of your position or role in an organisation. In fact, it may very well be the most important ability that you’ll ever learn.

Indeed, having influence within your team can help you accomplish work more effectively as a unit. Influence also gives you a voice in any group, ensuring that your thoughts and opinions are heard and acknowledged. Finally, having influence in the workplace can help you have a more direct effect on the outcome of any project or undertaking.

Becoming a successful influencer and leader doesn’t happen overnight, though. Like all other competencies, it’s something that must be honed and cultivated. That being said, enrolling into an influencing skills training course is a great way to brush up on the intricacies of communication. Done correctly, it can help you become a more persuasive and effectual team leader or member. With that in mind, here are a few strategies that you can use to further sharpen your influencing skills:

Build and Develop a Foundation of Trust

It’s possible to compel others to follow you if you happen to be in a position of authority. However, this dynamic lacks a crucial component: free will. To achieve true influence, you’ll have to gain your colleagues’ trust.

This idea taps into a fundamental concept wherein people are more compelled to do things for others if they like or trust them. Trust is also the foundation of any healthy and productive working relationship, so why not start there?

Fortunately, building trust with your team members doesn’t have to be hard. You just have to set a good example by being open and honest. This will foster an environment where people feel that they can be similarly transparent towards you. If you are in a leadership position, it’s especially important to convey to your team that they can speak freely in your presence without fear of repercussion. This is a process that will take time, so be patient.

Interact Thoughtfully

As you’ll learn from any influencing skills course, exerting influence in the workplace is reliant on having good interpersonal relationships with those in it. That’s because building rapport and making meaningful connections with your team members is one of the most important steps towards cultivating a buy-in.

Put simply, taking the time to know your co-workers will help you earn their intangible support for your ideas and decisions. To that end, it’s always worth getting to know your co-workers as individuals and making an effort to develop positive working relationships with them.

So practice strategic mingling and reaching out to your team members one-on-one, as this can make a significant difference towards how they perceive and interact with you. Fostering personal connections with others will also make them more likely to hear you out. Additionally, you can build real relationships with them by interacting with them as peers instead of subordinates.

Make Active Listening a Habit

Some people think that getting their point across means having the biggest, loudest voice in the room. However, the inverse is more likely, as talking over others and refusing to listen is the fastest way to get others to dismiss you and your ideas.

Making others feel seen and heard is simple, and it also holds so much power. When you acknowledge people and give them your undivided attention, you show them respect and demonstrate consideration. You tell them, without words, that they are worthy of your time. These are all things that they will be more likely to show you in turn when you approach them for help.

However, all these won’t happen if you tend to be so preoccupied with your own thoughts that you only give others half an ear when they come to you. To remedy this, practice active listening and make a habit of it. Active listening, in particular, involves hearing a person’s words and understanding the complete message that they’re trying to communicate.

So the next time someone approaches you, drop whatever you’re doing, turn your body towards the person speaking, hold that position, and just listen to what they have to say. You’d be surprised at how just a few changes in your body language can change a team member’s perception and attitude towards you.

Influence is an incredible asset to have in the workplace, but you have to understand that it’s not something you can get without giving something in return. You’re asking others for their commitment when you ask them for their buy-in, after all, and people will want to know that they can expect the same from you in return.

To learn more about how you can use influence in the workplace to create meaningful change within your organisation, you might wish to consider enrolling into an influencing others training program suited to your needs.

To learn more about being an Influential Leader, then check out our course: PRIORITY INFLUENCER.

You can also tailor your own program with our short sessions design to engage and upskill managers and supervisors across all levels of the organisation in managing in this new era. Please reach out to discuss the options and how we can tailor a program for you depending on the goals and outcomes you after. CONTACT US