People often think of influence as Machiavellian. It’s not that black and white.
How it is seen depends on the intent of the person seeking to influence. I like to think of influence as a lever to balance the scales, so it is not just the charismatic extravert who is heard.
Being able to influence effectively helps you get heard and to get initiatives across the line. It is a force for good when it is used to ensure better business decisions. It is not so good when it used for self-serving ends.
Influential leaders, who strive to serve the greater good, do many things differently. Here’s ten things – just to get you started.
- They take the long view with relationships. They don’t sacrifice a relationship for short term, self-serving gain
- They treat everyone they meet with respect. They know that every interaction they have with a person matters because everybody wants to feel valued
- They are not afraid to take a stand and speak up against the majority on the things that are important – not just for them, but for other people as well
- They take the time to listen to people and ensure that people feel fully heard when they are raising an idea or a concern
- They welcome different thoughts, ideas and opinions as they know they don’t have all the answers
- They are not afraid to hire people who are smarter than them. They know they need an awesome team around them if they are to make progress
- They are willing to admit when they make a mistake. They appreciate that it is only through understanding a mistake and why it happened that real change can occur
- They acknowledge the efforts of others and don’t take the glory for successes that were not there’s or there’s alone
- They understand themselves – what makes them tick, what triggers unhealthy or negative behaviours and they know how to regulate and moderate their behaviour
- They know how to stand out without making everything all about them
What would you add to the list?
Remember, change happens. Make it work for you!
About the Author
Michelle Gibbings is the author of Step Up: How to build your influence at work. She is known for making the complex, simple. She helps people to think more deliberately, act with greater purpose and accelerate progress by understanding the art and science of human behaviour.
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