Influencing others is a key skill in any workplace, at any level of seniority. Improving your ability to influence others can drive projects and tasks forwards and help you to achieve your objectives.
Let’s look into some ways you can improve how you influence others:
1. Take time to build rapport
Connection in its simplest form is the difference between saying ‘yes’ and ‘no’ to an urgent, last-minute task.
We’re often more likely to help those around us who have taken the time to build a connection, vs colleagues who have never spoken to us before.
Put simply, we are most likely to be influenced by people we actually like.
2. Be the expert
The colleagues we value, and feel we trust and can rely on, are the ones who show expertise in their area.
They have taken the time to learn and develop their skills and as a result, colleagues of every seniority are happy to listen to their suggestions or requests.
Often, we don’t realise these people are influencing us, because we’re all too happy to take their expert advice.
3. Be human
Many aspects of the working world can feel like thankless tasks. Receiving praise and reward is an instant mood booster, and those who take the time to say ‘thank you’, and ‘well done’, are often the ones we are influenced by.
How many meetings have you been in, where everyone’s fighting to talk over each other? Those who spend their time talking, won’t notice the people in the room, or really listen to what’s going on because they’re too busy getting their point across.
Influence isn’t about being the loudest voice, instead, it is the delicate art of listening to the gaps in conversation, and taking a step back to understand the priorities and objectives of everyone in the room.
To summarise, influencing others is a key skill to achieving our objectives and goals, breaking down bottlenecks and moving projects along. By being an authentic person, who listens, learns and takes time to build connection, you will influence more easily no matter what industry you are in, including competitive industries such as technology and project management.