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How to Increase Your Influence at Work

Influence at work

To be effective in organizations today, you must be able to influence people. Your title alone isn’t always enough to sway others, nor do you always have a formal position.

Having influence in the workplace has clear value : You get more done and you advance the projects you care about and are responsible for, which means you’re more likely to be noticed, get promoted, and receive raises.

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How to Increase Your Influence at Work

How to Increase Your Influence at Work

https://hbr.org/2018/02/how-to-increase-your-influence-at-work

hbr.org

7

Key Ideas

Influence at work

To be effective in organizations today, you must be able to influence people. Your title alone isn’t always enough to sway others, nor do you always have a formal position.

Having influence in the workplace has clear value : You get more done and you advance the projects you care about and are responsible for, which means you’re more likely to be noticed, get promoted, and receive raises.

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.

Mind your body language and your tone

  • Your body language is critical to conveying the right message: signal that you are a friend by keeping your arms uncrossed, your hands by your sides, and your torso open and pointed at the other person.
  • Pitch your voice a little lower than you normally do in order to connote power. This is useful to work on because it counteracts the effect of nervousness, which tends to push your tone higher.

Develop expertise

Increase your influence at work by being seen as a recognized expert within your industry or organization.

This won’t happen overnight, but immerse yourself in your topic area”by regularly attending industry conferences, enrolling in a class or specialized certification program, or taking on a leadership role in a relevant professional organization - visible signs that you are informed and up-to-date.

Be strategic...

...when it comes time to leverage the influence you’ve built to promote a particular initiative or idea.

Create a power map, an org chart of decision makers related to your issue,she says. As you go through the levels, “ask yourself, ‘Can I influence this person directly? If not, whom can I influence who can influence that person?’ Then begin to think about how and when you will approach these various colleagues. 

Give people what they want

You can increase your influence on a particular issue by authentically framing it as a benefit to the people you want on your side.

Consider each stakeholder’s needs, perspectives, and temperaments. Do your homework to find out what they need to hear and what will capture their attention.

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Find friends outside of work

If your only friends are your friends at work, it'll be more challenging to avoid work on evenings and weekends. If you do have coworkers as close friends, consider setting some boundaries around work talk.

Try to avoid getting drawn into office drama, as it will increase the time you spend talking and thinking about work.

Speak up

Speak up when your workload is too much. Tell your boss if you are stretched too thin or when you regularly work too many hours. Talk about what you can reasonably get done in a week.

Also, don't say yes to everything. If you have a hard time saying no, don't respond immediately. Instead say, "Let me get back to you", or, "Let me think about that."

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