5 ways to increase your influence in the workplace (no matter your position)28 Nov 2021
Influence matters in the workplace. No matter where we are in the chain of command, it’s important to know how to make our voices heard — and, in some cases, to help others empower their voices, too. However, influence isn’t necessarily something with which you’re born — and lucky for all of us, it can be taught.
The power of influence
“Influence” and “power” are sometimes used interchangeably, but that doesn’t paint an accurate picture of what it means to be influential. In the workplace, power is often given, and our co-workers have no say in the matter — but influence is something we earn from each individual with whom we work. As Forbes describes it, “Influence is about setting an example that inspires others to do as you do. The keyword here is inspire.”
Having strong influencing skills can advance our careers at any stage. It can help by:
- Building relationships.
- Improving communication.
- Enabling smooth negotiation.
- Putting success within reach.
5 tips for better influencing skills
So, with these benefits in mind, how do we strengthen our influencing skills? No matter what our role, we can all benefit from tips like these:
1) Improve self-awareness
Self-awareness allows us to understand our strengths and weaknesses, both professionally and personally. This type of insight can help us gain influence in ways that feel organic, natural and comfortable. It also informs your actions with a level of honesty that will build trust with your coworkers.
2) Observe and learn
Influence isn’t all about our actions as individuals. It’s also about our ability to understand workplace culture and context. To improve communication and create opportunities for effective negotiation, we need to know how and when to observe rather than intervene. The more comfortable we become as listeners, the better prepared we will be as influencers.
3) Build relationships
Although there are times and places to observe, influencing skills also require the ability to actively engage with our colleagues. We should focus on building relationships from a place of trust — which means acknowledging when we’re wrong or uncertain, taking others’ advice and working toward a shared image of success.
4) Pay attention to nonverbal cues
According to Harvard Business Review, body language can be a subtle but powerful element among influencers. These nonverbal cues like posture, eye contact and more give us the chance to appear authoritative yet approachable. Naturally, knowing how to read body language from others also helps improve communication and negotiation.
5) Take a training program
No one is born with perfect influencing skills. That’s why an Influencing Skills program from ICML is a great opportunity for employees of any rank to become more comfortable and confident in the workplace. By learning skills like building trust and creating win-win situations, this program helps workers like us make sure our voices are heard.
We could all use a little help building and maintaining our influencing skills. If you’re looking for the tools necessary to improve professional relationships, simplify communication and create real trust, contact us today to learn about our Influencing Skills program.