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7 Ways to Build Influence in the Workplace

https://www.inc.com/jayson-demers/7-ways-to-build-influence-in-the-workplace.html

inc.com

7 Ways to Build Influence in the Workplace
Influence is power. No matter who you are, where you work, or what your professional goals are, achieving more influence in the workplace is critical for success. Gaining influence on a team can help you work together more effectively. Gaining influence in a supervisory position can make you more respected and appreciated.

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Influence is power

No matter who you are, where you work, or what your professional goals are, achieving more influence in the workplace is critical for success.

But gaining that influence, like learning a skill, takes time and effort.

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Build Trust

Influence is most often and most easily carried through trust: only when a co-worker trusts you will he or she be open to your influence.

The easiest way to do that is to be honest, no matter what. State your opinions, disclose your apprehensions, and don't keep secrets. 

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Reliability Through Consistency

Inconsistency is the fastest way to ruin your reputation. Consistency, on the other hand, is slow but sure: if you execute your tasks effectively and on time, day after day, eventually people will come to rely on you.

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Be Assertive

Be Assertive

There's a difference between being assertive and being aggressive. 

You'll need to present your thoughts and ideas with a high degree of confidence, indicating your convictions, but any excessive degree of confidence could be mistaken for needless arrogance, which will compromise your perceived authority. 

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Be Flexible

Being too stringent or adamant in your beliefs will work against you.

Work actively to show your flexibility while holding firm on your beliefs. Negotiations and compromises are often the best ways to do this.

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Be Personal

The key here is to seem imperfect, approachable, and human.

Have personal exchanges with your employees and co-workers. You don't need to build friendships, but there's no reason why you can't get to know each other. Personal working relationships are important for cultivating a sense of team, and if people see you as another person on the team, they'll be more receptive when you disclose your ideas or opinions. 

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Focus on Action

Focus on Action

Trying to build influence through words is useless. If you're going to build influence in the workplace, you need to speak through your actions, or at the very least have the actions and history to back up whatever it is you're saying.

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Listen to Others

Listen to everyone's opinion, and encourage people to speak up, especially if they don't often voice their opinions. Take time to respect and acknowledge everybody's opinion, and let people know that you value them.

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Influence at work

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Build connections

Work on cultivating personal connections with your colleagues, and allow them to get to know you. 

You don’t have to be “the greatest person in the room” or make sure “everyone is blown away by your charisma.” You just need to have good rapport with your colleagues. That way, they won’t impute negative intentions or motives to you.

Listen before you try to persuade

The best way to prime colleagues for backing you and your agenda is to make them feel heard. 

Start by giving them your undivided attention in one-on-one situations. Turn your body toward the other person, freeze in place, and listen.

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Effective communication

... is imperative for every successful business. Poor communication inevitably causes misunderstandings, confusion and conflicts that hinder productivity and professi...

Effective Communication is vital in business

  • It helps to create effective brand messaging.  It determines how your brand is perceived and also builds trust with customers.
  • Customer service relies on good communication. "60% of consumers have stopped doing business with a brand due to a poor customer service experience."  Microsoft’s 2016 Global State of Customer Service Report.
  • It enables positive team relationships.  Effective communication helps to unite teams and create a safe environment to express themselves.
  • It helps to prevent misunderstandings and conflicts. It can help to defuse a potentially explosive dispute while bad communication can set it off.

Worst Communication Mistakes

  1. Using a One-Size-Fits-All Communication Approach. Tailor the communication style to the intended audience.
  2. Speaking More and Listening Less. Listen to what is said, how it is said, and to what is not said.
  3. Assuming Instead of Asking More Questions.
  4. Using Negative Tone. Choose words carefully to eliminate negative reactions.
  5. Avoiding Difficult Conversations.

  6. Reacting, Not Responding.

  7. Not Keeping an Open Mind. Accept and respect differences, listen without judgment and consider all sides of an issue.

Awkward Work Scenarios

Awkward Work Scenarios
  1. Others taking credit for your work: speak up when presenting your joint ideas, else the boss will remember that the other was the one who did all the talking.