Posts Tagged ‘Influence’

Three Hacks for Influencing with Greater Impact

Building relationship may not increase influence. But no-one increases influence without building relationship. – Dr. Mark Strom

Our life is a series of interactions, reflection and action. In our organizational and business life, influencing others, be it our direct reports, manager, or customers, helps us progress with our goals.  Our personal life is no different but that is another blog!

And yet for many of us, we lose confidence when we have to do this.

The hesitancy embodies messages like, “I am not sure how they will react, what if things get worse to I don’t have the right skills and how do I this when I hold a contrary view and maintain the relationship?”

Can you relate to any of the above?  Or perhaps you have your own rationale/story of what gets in the way. (I would love to hear so please feel free to add in the comments section below).

The good news is that you can become more effective at communicating and expressing yourself, being heard and crashing through any self (or other) imposed barriers holding you from success.

Here are three things to be mindful of:
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Leadership: How to Influence More Effectively

Last week, a coachee who had been described as a bright spark and full of potential by her manager, commented at how disappointed she was in not getting the support of a key stakeholder for a new initiative.

In her view, it was a project full of potential – the benefits of which she thought would have been obvious to him.

She said she was surprised at how things turned out because they had worked together and he knew the issues they were facing in the industry. “I expected him to just get it,” but clearly this was not the case.

Can you see what may be wrong here?

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How do You Influence Others?

inspireBeing able to influence others is a core leadership competency. Whether this is engaging your people in upcoming organisational change, getting buy-in into the new vision or sustaining an engaged and dynamic culture, without being able to influence, a leader’s success can be thwarted even before initiatives get given a proper chance.

And this skill is not just limited to leaders. Influencing others is necessary for just about every job and role we can think of – team leader, customer support, sales and marketing, executive assistant, consultant, project manager, solopreneurs and many, many more.

Our home and family life is the other big arena of influence be it with our spouse, kids, wider family or friends.

So what are your thoughts and perspective on influencing others?

What works for you and what is your biggest challenge here?

Your feedback is valued

I am doing a super brief, two-question survey on this and would very much appreciate your response. This will take you 2-3 minutes. You can do this anonymously, if you wished.

Here is the link again.

Thanks for your follow and being connected with me here on LinkedIn and I very much look forward to hearing and sharing further posts with you.

Photo by Stuart Miles

P.S. If you have LOST YOUR MOJO – download this brief guide

P.P.S. If you are keen to DEVELOP YOUR LEADERSHIP – check out this brief guide

Leadership: How You can Make Your People Feel Valued and Get Better Results

engaged-teamOn Engaged employees

“When people are financially invested, they want a return. When people are emotionally invested, they want to contribute.”  – Simon Sinek

The ability to have an engaged work force is vital for the success of the entire organisation. Engaged, energised employees want to continue to do the best for their manager and company and will willingly go the extra mile to put in that discretionary effort.

As an executive coach with particular interest in the areas of emotional and spiritual intelligence, (EQ and SQ), I have been called in to help managers and leaders develop their self-awareness so they have greater awareness of the softer side of their leadership skill development.

In such scenarios, the sponsor such as the CEO or an another senior manager is interested not just in the coachee’s financial results but also their ability to inspire, engage and influence others and create a positive team culture. Not surprisingly some have also scored low on key measures in their leadership engagement surveys.

Only do this if you are genuine

As a manager and leader, if you are wondering what you could do, here are some simple, practical actions you could take. These are some of the actions my clients took to not only create positive shifts in their team culture but also significantly moving their engagement dial.

A cautionary note though – these are not just a “tick the box” activities as in you have done it once and you can now forget about it. I can tell you now – this will NOT work. Your people will see through this and you will lose credibility.

Your approach has to be sincere and authentic. Then over time with consistent effort you will see and hear the positive results!

Some practical actions to influence, inspire and engage

  1. Make an effort and get to know your people. There is more to them than the functional outputs they produce. Try and understand the needs and wants of your direct reports and colleagues ( needless to say, your boss) so you can cultivate deeper win-win relationships. You can find out about their interests, what they spend time doing when not at work, their family and any special circumstances here, their passion, family background – where they grew up, went to school, travel…..the sky is the limit.
  2. As a manager and leader, it is your duty to find out what the career aspirations and vision of your direct reports are so you can guide them appropriately. You are more likely to retain people who feel and know that they are supported in their path of working towards something.
  3. Acknowledge and praise your people for work well done. Again knowing your people well, you will have a better idea of what works for whom. For example, for one team member, some form of public acknowledgment may be important for another just making time to give them a special verbal thank you may be enough.
  4. Ask yourself this question – if there was a company restructuring and people had a choice about whether they work with you or elsewhere, how many of your team members do you think would truly elect to work for you? This can be a good indicator as to how well you are engaging with them or not.
  5. Show confidence in your people and stretch them. Give them “meaty” assignments and tell them that why you have done so – that you think that while there is an element of stretch, you are confident that they have the capability to deliver.
  6. Show your support by being available to discuss and talk through issues that may be of concern to them.
  7. MBAW – ( Management by Walking Around) If physically possible, allow some time during the week to “walk the floors” and have a more casual approach and chat with people. People really value this as opposed to seeing you only when you have to make a request.
  8. Be conscious of your leadership style. If you have a more pace-setting and autocratic style, remember there is also a down side. People may not feel as free to be creative, try on things and learn through their mistakes as they will not want to go outside the parameters of “how the boss likes to have things done.”
  9. Good delegation – you may be really competent technically but if you are not doing your team members any favours if you are doing it all by youself. Not only is this extra work for you but again you are missing out on a great opportunity to engage your people.
  10. Have a review of your team meetings. Are you always the chair? Can this be rotated? Are people free to put items on the agenda or is this controlled by you? Team meetings can be a good forum for engaging everyone.
  11. How often do you hold social functions as a team? Apart from the “away” days, do you get together casually say for Friday drinks? Do you celebrate successes after a win or even a major piece of work?
  12. Watch out for differential treatment of staff members. People very quickly feel it, if as a manager you are playing favourites – spending time and or discussing projects with the selected few on a consistent basis.
  13. Be conscious of your jokes and idiosyncratic humour. You could be alienating people without even realising it.
  14. Get to know people across units and departments. You will get a better view of how your part fits into the whole and forge good relationships.

In the words of Ken Blanchard and Scott Blanchard: “Connect the dots between individual roles and the goals of the organization. When people see that connection, they get a lot of energy out of work. They feel the importance, dignity, and meaning in their job.”

Your reflection

Which of these points really resonate for you? How about picking one and putting it into action this week….and then building on this?

If you would like more, check out my very actionable e-book

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How to Influence with Integrity

influence with integrity

Everyday in life we get the opportunity to influence others.

In the work domain, this includes our peers, direct reports, our manager who may be the MD or CEO and our customers and suppliers.

The two extremes

Some of us react negatively to the thought of “having to influence” while others may do this unconsciously – almost automatically – when the need arises.  On the other extreme,  is the more politically motivated example where people do this in a very calculated and shrewd manner.

Either ends of the extreme have their own drawbacks – from being invisible and looked over for projects to being seen as a political animal (without necessarily the follow through on delivery) that one needs to be weary of.

So what really does influencing mean?

The Oxford English Dictionary defines Influence as “the capacity to have an effect on the character, development or behaviour of someone or something, or the effect itself.”  And to be able to do this without exerting a direct force.

Being able to influence or choosing not to be influenced is a necessary survival skill in business.

As a leader, unless you are able to influence others to buy your vision, you will not gain followship and full engagement from those you are leading.

As a team member, unless you can influence or stand up to others influence that are less than positively inspired, you will not be able to harness respect, good collaboration and sharing from others.

The old model of coercive and autocratic leadership – “do as you are told” no longer holds sway as it disempowers employees and managers alike. Not being able to connect with people and see them as capable and competent contributors of their teams and the organisation is not only disrespectful but it will not motivate them to give their best!

Building relationship may not increase influence. But no-one increases influence without building relationship.
– Dr. Mark Strom

So what are some things to be mindful of when influencing others?

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