A PERSON OF INFLUENCE

A PERSON OF INFLUENCE

Influence is defined by the Oxford Dictionary of English as the ‘capacity or power of a person to be a compelling force or produce effects on the actions, behaviours and opinions of others’. Being a person of influence at work is not about calling the shots, but about having a positive impact on colleagues in a way that motivates them, supports the goals of the company and boosts your professional success.

Certain attributes need to be honed if you wish to become a person of influence at work:

Assertiveness is having the skill to air your ideas and viewpoints openly and directly without being pushy or aggressive. An aggressive attitude may get you what you want in the short term, but you won’t gain any real support down the line.

Reliability is the extent to which you can be counted on to, for example, arrive at an appointment on time, finish an important task, or be discreet about certain matters.

Trust is built when your colleagues see that you operate honestly and with integrity, and that you have their back.

Once these are established, you can further boost your profile and influence with the following tips:

BE A GOOD SOURCE OF INFORMATION AND EXPERTISE

If you are the holder of knowledge or materials that are valuable to others, you will become the ‘go-to’ person for information, resources and expertise. This will earn you the respect and make your colleagues more inclined to listen when you have something to say.

ENLARGE OTHER PEOPLE 

In order to have a positive impact on people, you need to interact positively with them. In his book Becoming A Person of Influence, author and leadership expert John C Maxwell emphasises the importance of taking an interest in people, listening to what they have to say, seeking to understand them and looking for opportunities to empower them.

Work on motivating colleagues to fulfill their professional dreams and goals. People will be far more willing to support you if they feel acknowledged, understood and appreciated.

BE AWARE OF THE EFFECT YOU’RE HAVING ON OTHERS

Do people switch off when you start talking, or make a quick excuse to get away? You won’t influence people if your communication style is off key. Be sensitive to how people respond to you and adapt accordingly. Ask a trusted colleague to be straight with you if you tend to put people off and don’t know why. Don’t be afraid to learn and grow – it’s all part of the refining process that will help shape you into a person of greater influence.

Reference:

Mia Russell – Bankmed Bounce Magazine