Seven ways to becoming more influential

Read time 3min 20sec

In the world of business, influence is power, and without it achieving professional success can be an uphill battle. We need to take our cue from the social media world, we need to become influencers, not of popular culture and style, but of business strategy and corporate change.

An effective influencer is defined as someone who's able to move people and shape opinions by understanding what makes people tick, both on a personal and professional level. An influencer is typically someone who's highly respected, not just for their technical skill, but for what they stand for within the organisation.

But how does one become an effective influencer? Firstly, it's important to understand that you can't become an influencer overnight. Honing your influencing skills take time and practice. Analyze has made the journey a little easier by having come up with the following list of seven tips to help get you there:

Create a foundation of trust

Everything starts with trust. When people trust that you are who you say you are and that you'll do what you say you'll do, they'll be more open to your influence. If you're already in a leadership position, those who report to you will of course have to execute tasks you give them, but with true influence it's not about them having to do something for you, but instead them wanting to do something for you.

Be consistently consistent

Nobody likes to work with someone whose performance is all over the place. Be consistent in your principles and beliefs, the way you tackle tasks, and your attitude towards people and the organisation. With consistent behaviour, people will come to rely on you in a way that increases your power.

Learn to stand your ground the right way

Standing your ground without coming off as pushy or aggressive is a fine art. You need to be able to sell your ideas with confidence and conviction, but without any level of arrogance. Practice humble confidence, research your facts, and be ready to argue your case without actually arguing.

Get personal

The power of personal relationships is often overlooked when building your influence, but being able to connect with people on a personal level gives you an immediate foot in the door. It also promotes comraderie and a level of openness that leads to better collaboration and team work.

Listen more

Influence is not just about you exerting your power over others, it's also about opening up a dialogue and hearing other people's ideas. The more you support the ideas of others, the more they'll be willing to support your ideas. You also never know what opportunities can arise from collaborating with those who have their own level of influence.

Watch your body language

Take a look around your organisation, how do those with the most influence carry themselves? How do they speak, stand, dress? These may seem like superficial things at first, but how people see you has a direct impact on your level of influence. Unfortunately, people are wired to judge a book by its cover, so make sure that your cover says: Follow me!

Be willing to switch things up

Don't limit yourself to just one influencing style. Be willing to try out different influencing tactics to see what works and what doesn't, particularly when in different situations and working with different groups of people. Real influence comes from knowing what style will be most impactful when.

Editorial contacts
Xan le Grangexan@analyze.co.za
Analyze ConsultingCathy Bankscathy@analyze.co.za
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