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Three Ways to Build Influence

Leadership is not about titles, positions or flowcharts. It is about one life influencing another.
-John C. Maxwell

Good leaders can get people to achieve, but influential leaders get people to want to achieve.

Last week, I had the pleasure of facilitating a workshop with a super group of talented women who traveled from all over the country to learn more about influencing strategies, so they could effectively develop their program, communicate more confidently with their clients and establish themselves as experts in their space.

These women are high achievers and are part of a learning community. They openly shared with me their challenges with getting their messages across when clients showed up with a blend of attitudes and views.

Here are 3 influence strategies that I shared with this leadership team, and that I think you will find to be very effective.

#1. Empowerment – Making others feel valued by involving them in decision making and giving them recognition.
When we respect someone, we are more inclined to cooperate and more willing to be influenced by them.
Look for solutions that will benefit everyone involved.

#2. Having a common vision – Presenting ideas by linking them to an aspiring vision of what is possible and show people how their work is important to the broader goals of the organization.
Use meetings and other gatherings to build a sense of pride and ownership in the team.

#3. Relationship building – Taking the time to connect with others and getting to know them personally. You want to cultivate relationships so that others will be inclined to support your ideas in the future.
And that starts with you being present and being able to build rapport.

Additionally, a growing body of research suggests that the way to influence—and to lead—is to begin with warmth.

Warmth is the conduit of influence: It facilitates trust and the communication and absorption of ideas.

We can all think back to someone who had a big influence on us in our lives, and for me, it was my father. As far back as I can remember, he enforced the idea that I should think for myself and never do something just because others were doing it.

Every organization has unique dynamics and having the ability to know how to influence others is a golden key.

We all need to know how to use influence, when we’re in an interview and we want to nail the opportunity, or when we want to shift someone’s perspective or we’re looking to win others over.

Which one of these 3 strategies have you found to be most effective for you?

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Denise Harris

 

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