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How to Increase Your Influence at Work

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.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

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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After you have redefined success, consider how you want to invest your time and energy. 

There will always be more work to be done, but make a choice to spend your time elsewhere: with family, friends, or in your community. And when you spend time with your family or friends, do so with undivided attention.

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...by attaching emotions to things that happen. That means those who can create and share good stories have a powerful advantage over others.

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First, settle on your ultimate message; then you can figure out the best way to illustrate it.

Every storytelling exercise should begin by asking: Who is my audience and what is the message I want to share with them? 

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Make sure it’s needed

Make sure the skills you've chosen are relevant to your career, your organization, or both. 

Gaining a new skill is an investment and you need to know upfront what the return will be.

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The Importance Of Proper Listening

With proper listening you’ll have a crystal clear understanding of the conversation and demonstrate to speakers that you’re invested in what they have to say.

Being a good listener is one of the most potent things you can do to increase your influence and likeability. It is also one of the top skills employers seek in potential and current employees, and it’s correlated with perceived ability to lead.

How To Be A Better Listener
  1. Push other activities from your mind, and be present in the discussion. This tells the other person that you’re ready for the conversation.
  2. Keep a neutral expression that simply says, “I’m listening.” We tend to physically react to what we hear and it disrupts our ability to listen and the other person’s ability to be heard. 
  3. Offer uninterrupted speaking time. Well-intended or not, interruptions makes effective communication impossible. 
  4. Repeat back succinctly and ask validating questions to make sure you heard the speaker correctly.
Influence is power

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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. 

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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