Is there a crucial skill that could act as a substitute for multiple other skills? Yes. It is the art of influencing others. Without the ability to influence others, one’s will to turn vision into reality remains an obscure dream as one can’t do everything alone.
In the early years of a career or individual contributor role, the art of influencing and persuasion translates to working effectively with people without any authority over them. This requires the ability to present logical and compelling arguments and get others on board with your plan. In senior-level or executive roles, influence is focused more on steering long-range objectives, inspiration, and motivation. This predominantly means that the ability to influence peers as well as superiors and subordinates is a crucial part of working in a team.
For an efficient manager, it is key that they practice the art of influencing and persuading to positively impact their team and work goals.
Below are some skills you need to master the art of influencing:
One of the ways to get people interested in your ideas is to be interested in their thoughts. Do not just encourage them, but show interest in their words. Ask questions to know where they are coming from; our experiences shape our opinion, and knowing such experiences help us bond with our team members.
One way to gain power is to empower others. To empower is to give them a picture to live by. Encourage them to embrace their mistakes, and take opportunities to fail. When failing is reprimanded, growth stalls. When you commend others and show your fine qualities, they are more likely to feel empowered. They will respect you and do their best to help you achieve your goals.
There are times when people’s ideas don’t align with yours. In such instances, don’t resist their opinions or shut them off by telling them that they are wrong. Respect other people’s opinions as well. They might believe in something different and think they are right from their perspective. So, try to understand their stance so that when you explain yours they’d genuinely get interested in learning about your thread of thoughts.
In order to influence other people, give them what they really want. One of the ways to do this is by starting off the conversation by talking about their interest. When you think about other people and their needs, they will love you and get interested in your wants and needs. Making others feel important is the first step to influencing them.
A leader never orders their team members but asks them about their opinions. Not everyone likes to follow orders, but they surely love to suggest actionably. When people have something to contribute to the process, they work more diligently towards the goal. Be a leader who is persistent enough to persuade team members to work on their plans but flexible enough to accept new ones.
Indeed, we often influence people around us without the knowledge of doing it. Our small actions and behaviour can have a deep impact on others. Perfecting the art can take some practice and time. So what are you waiting for, pick an actionable from the list and try it out today!