Using Influence Multiplies Your Impact as a Leader
First and foremost, influence is driven by WHO the person is and how they show up in the workplace. They’re genuinely interested in other people. They behave respectfully towards all everyone. They seem to have some “magic powers” to get others to want to do their bidding. They are so genuine that they are liked and respected even when disagreements arise. They are able to inspire trust quickly, and build a relationship based on that trust.
Influence Is A Skill That Can Be Learned and It’s a Skill That is Critical to Effective Leadership.
Let’s define influence here as: the act or power of producing an effect or result from others without apparent exertion of force or direct exercise of command.*
*(Adapted from Merriam Webster online.)
These are leadership challenges that this workshop is designed to address:
- Without having positional authority, you must get peers to perform in a certain way. You are not the “boss”, yet you must get others on a team to work together to produce certain results. Producing these results could involve a wide range of situations where influence plays a part, such as “selling” a vision to “the troops”. It could be more transactional, such as getting others to adopt a new timeline for a project. It might involve moving peers to adopt a new goal, mindset, or methodology.
- Your organization uses Matrix management or is very “flat”, and requires agreement of others to proceed. Without influence, you get resistant attitudes and behaviors. Progress is fraught with subtle conflict, excuses and apathy. Time is wasted on selling and attempting to motivate, without much momentum. Your success requires the agreement of a whole matrix of others, and you need to create greater levels of engagement, buy-in and commitment.
- You are a leader who has positional authority but you prefer to lead through influence. It’s easy to boss others around and to lead with the parental injunction, “…because I said so.” As a leader, you can either use influence or demand compliance. It takes much more finesse and skill to develop the art of influence. You need to get people “on board” with the direction that the organization is going. You want to engage them in a common goal or vision. You expect them to go beyond compliance and to enthusiastically embrace change.
- You’re in the position of enforcing regulations or compliance of some kind. You’ve got a tough job. No one wants to see you coming. You’re considered a problem or obstacle by most people you work with. Because you “carry a big stick” of enforcement, it’s easy for you to threaten and force others. However, it only makes your interpersonal interactions more oppositional and often downright bitter. It’s no fun having a job filled with conflict, avoidance and resistance. You’d rather use influence than resort to force.
- You must correct substandard performance in an individual or a team. Demanding behavioral change isn’t how you want to proceed. You don’t want the feedback conversation itself to automatically set up an opposing stance. You can’t afford unreasonable rebelliousness or reactive behaviors that imply, “You’re not my boss.” You have to avoid a situation where they will resent and complain every step of the way. Your success requires you to influence more productive behavior in others.
These Are The Benefits You Can Expect From Learning To Influence:
Influence is central to effective leadership—the keystone in fact. The more that leaders employ influence, the better the results will be. Think about it this way: we all want to do things for those we like and trust. Actively use influence, and these are the benefits you’ll see:
- You’re perceived as an effective and valuable leader. You build your reputation as someone who gets things done while leaving a positive “wake’ behind you. When people speak of you and to you, they speak respectfully, positively and kindly.
- When you move things forward, others willingly follow you. It’s easier to get things done because you bring the team along with you, creating momentum. You don’t have to drive the momentum with effort or force. It’s easy to “enroll” others and bring them along in accomplishing goals. You find that people are willing to compromise or meet you halfway.
- Influence massively multiplies your management leverage. You get more done – and you can trust that things are getting done. You don’t have to check up on people or “hound” them with follow-up. People want to do things for you. More happens— even on the days you’re not there. Those who work with you want to step up and take responsibility for getting done what needs to get done.
- You get sustainable engagement, commitment and buy-in. You don’t have to keep going back and “reselling”. They’re following you and you don’t have to continuously check to be sure. Those you lead begin to drive the initiative with their own energy. They “get it” and want to contribute to the success of common goals.
- Influence builds leadership “muscle” more profoundly than any other skill. For your leaders to be promotion- ready, influence is not an optional skill. It’s what separates candidates who will make a real difference from those who are only qualified “on paper”. To deepen and broaden your leadership “bench strength” you are going to want to equip the next generation with the knowledge of how to conduct influential conversations.
- You experience a lot less conflict and negative behaviors. Influence builds consent in a natural and organic way. Because influence derives from mutual respect and trust, conflict is lessened. Negotiating for results is simpler. It’s a lot easier to get others to buy into a common vision, mission and goals. Managing through influence makes you personally magnetic. Others are pulled to you like a magnet; they want to be around you. They are much more inclined to contribute to your success and the success of the organization. Leaders who are influential create a kind of energetic “force field” around themselves. Others may not know what it is that draws them, but they definitely feel the tug of attraction.
The Influential Conversations Workshop Provides a Solid Foundation In The Skill Of Influence.
If you read up to this point and you have questions about the Influencing Conversations Workshop, or would like to discuss your leadership development needs, please contact me. I’ll get right back to you to set up a time to discuss your needs. I serve business and organizational executives in Halifax, Nova Scotia and across Canada.
Phone: 902-477-2535 (AST) or email: firstname.lastname@example.org