How to Increase Your Influence in the Workplace
I see you. You are working hard. Whether you’re working for yourself or someone else. Trying to start your own business or a boss at a big company.
Emails. Calls. Meetings. Presentations. More emails. Rescheduled meetings. The actual work. It’s a lot.
Oftentimes though, convincing others of your amazing ideas is the hardest part.
A lot of people are scared of change. And before they even hear your whole idea, they are already listing out all of the reasons it won’t work in their head. They aren’t even listening to you and your beautiful idea.
I know. It sucks. But don’t stress too much! There are ways you can increase your influence. There are tons of ways to connect with others and inspire them, maximizing your influence.
Here are six ways to increase your influence:
When we come to a conversation with the goal to change someone's opinion, we get very task focused and forget about the humanity of the person we're talking to. Put your end-goal on hold and spend time getting to know or catching up with the person in front of you at the front end of the conversation.
Forget What You Think
Leave all of your preconceived notions and opinions at the door. It's not about you - it's about the person you're talking to. Get to know what your conversation partner is thinking by asking them a lot of open-ended questions. But most importantly, listen to what they are saying! Don't interrupt. Don't just wait to talk - really listen to what they're saying; soak up what this person is saying because they are giving you all of the answers you need.
Find Their Motivation
What is important to you might not be important to someone else. And that's ok. Someone's motivation is not better or worse than anyone else's. All you need to do is figure out what motivates your conversation partner or what is important to them. Then connect your goal to their motivation.
This is not the time to shame anyone. It's a time to let them know you understand any BS they are dealing with. Whatever challenges your conversation partner is facing, let them know that you understand that it's difficult. But of course, be genuine. People pick up on fake empathy easier than you think.
Point Out Common Ground
Let them know what you have in common. Whether it's similar challenges, goals, vision, motivations, etc and connect to your conversation partner in some way. Otherwise, your goal is meaningless to them. Let them know you are both on the same team!
We often think that if we're strong and dominating, we will convince someone to change their opinion or actions, but it hardly works, and never for the long term. This is the time to be open and honest, sharing your own vulnerabilities with you conversation partner. When we humanize ourselves, we're more likely to build connection and influence others.