The dictionary defines influence as the action or process of producing effects on the actions, behavior, opinions, etc., of another or others.
As a coach, I often hear my clients say that they need to increase their influence. That is great, however what does that really mean at the end of the day? What does increasing your influence look like behaviorally? Keep reading to see how you can increase your influence by implementing the 5 strategies below.
You will be seen as more than ‘just a boss’ and your TRIBE will begin to thrive.
What is an Influencer?
An influencer is …
- Emotionally Intelligent
- A Good Listener
We are living in a time that people expect their leaders to be more human, more than ‘just a boss’. People want to know and that their leader is relatable, open and honest about their career struggles, and transparent about their personal weaknesses. Transparency and being vulnerable go hand in hand.
For leaders in the workplace this means that most of your communication should be face to face and not just via email communication. Face to face or communication via a video platform provides communication that is made up of body language, tone and words. Body language is 55% of your message, tone is 38% and your words are only 7% of your total overall message.
Becoming more personally engaged with your employees will foster transparency.
Another way to foster transparency is by sharing your story with the people who are in our sphere of influence. Leader, what are your strengths, weaknesses, motivators, preferred communication channels? Have you shared these with your tribe? If not, could transparency in these areas shift the culture of your tribe?
Integrity is the foundation of trust, and the health of all relationships are dependent on trust.
You can build trust and show integrity by:
- Being credible – matching your words with your actions, keeping your say/do ratio high
- Communicate when you can’t keep a commitment as quickly as possible
- Take accountability over your actions and admit to any mistakes while correcting them immediately
Think about the type of people you are attracted to be around and the type of people that bring out the best in you. As a coach, I don’t hear people say, ‘I thrive in the presence of negative energy vampires’. No, people want to be around positive people. People are also more likely to be influenced by those who show realistic positivity and optimism.
Below are the behaviors that display positivity:
- Managing your emotions, paying attention to your self-talk and handling setbacks well (emotional intelligence)
- Being confident in yourself and your abilities
- Being solution-oriented and seeking win/win solutions
- Working through unavoidable conflict as quickly as possible
- Giving honest and sincere appreciation for other people
Building Positive Relationships
This influence strategy was the catalyst for me writing this blog post. I met with one of my clients last week and after receiving her performance review, her boss told her that she needed to increase her influence. Well here is the tricky part, she told me that most of the relationships on her team were strained. She was being groomed for the next leadership position over this team, which she is currently a team member, and there were certain members of the team trying to sabotage her promotion. Talk about unhealthy and negative relationships! AND, what will this all look like if she does become the leader over this team?! Time to start working on building positive relationships now.
The relationships you have with others directly impact your ability to influence them.
Positive relationships can be built by:
- Showing genuine interest in other people and learning to connect with them. If the relationship is strained, this means going to that person and asking to ‘hit the reset button’ on the relationship. This takes humility and checking your ego
- Ask yourself, ‘Am I really trying to improve this relationship, or am I trying to prove that I am right?’
- Being empathetic, try to seek understanding from their perspective
- Being a good listener
- Actively listening to those around you and asking good questions allows you to find out what people value and what motivates them so that you can find achievable mutual goals
- Moderating your work style/behavior to be more effective with the people around you
- Managing up – create a trusting relationship with your boss that will allow you to obtain the best possible results for you, your boss and the organization
Not Settling For Anything Less Than Excellence
Live a life that will inspire – people are influenced by those who are inspirational. On a personal note, my husband Larry Chloupek is an amputee. He lost his leg to bone cancer at age 7. He is one of the most inspirational people that I know. He has influenced thousands of people to achieve excellence throughout the years. If you would like to learn more about his story you can read it here: Larry’s Story
You can inspire by:
- Focusing on first and lasting impressions including:
- physical appearance
- emotional health
- intellectual growth
- Setting high expectations for yourself and others – but making allowances for weaknesses and mistakes
- Being proactive and showing initiative – taking every opportunity to push yourself beyond your limits