25 September 2023

The Powerful Human Skill of Influence

(Estimated reading time: 3 minutes)

Most people equate leadership with a specific position or job title. But you need more than a title on the door to have followers. Influence is an essential skill for leaders, managers, and anyone who wants to make an impact in their organization or industry.

Influence is a skill, a powerful one – and yes, it can be developed. One of the most important factors is having strong interpersonal and communication skills. They include things like empathy, listening, collaboration, adaptability, and emotional recognition and regulation. These skills help you build trust, rapport, and credibility with your audience, whether it is a colleague, an employee, a client, or a stakeholder.

What does a lack of influencing skills among managers and leaders look like? Here are some examples of observable behaviours that may indicate a lack of influencing skills:

Lack of Active Listening: Managers with influence skill deficits might not actively listen to their team members or colleagues. They might interrupt conversations or fail to acknowledge others’ viewpoints, which can hinder effective communication.

Difficulty in Gaining Buy-In: Managers who struggle with influence skills might find it challenging to gain buy-in from their team members or stakeholders when introducing new ideas or initiatives. Their proposals might be met with resistance or skepticism.

Limited Networking and Relationship Building: Building relationships and networks across the organization is crucial for influence. Managers lacking these skills might not invest time in building connections, which can limit their ability to garner support for their initiatives. Learn more on the 5 tips to build strong and meaningful relationships with others.

Difficulty in Conflict Resolution: Influential managers are skilled at navigating conflicts and resolving disputes. Those with influencing skill deficits might avoid addressing conflicts, leading to tension within the team or department.

Inconsistent Communication: Managers lacking influence skills might communicate inconsistently or inadequately. They might fail to provide clear direction, leading to confusion among their team members.

It’s important to note that these behaviours don’t necessarily indicate a lack of ability or intention, but rather a deficit in specific influencing skills that can be developed by expanding self-awareness, using psychometric tools, providing specific and effective learning solutions, and applying and practicing in the workplace.

 The Relationship Between Influence and Leadership

The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority.” – Ken Blanchard, American author and management expert.

Leadership is a complex and multifaceted phenomenon that can be defined in many ways. However, one common aspect of leadership is the ability to influence others to achieve a shared vision or goal. Leadership without influence – isn’t. In fact, understanding how to leverage the influence factor can make a defining difference in your ability to drive change, build cohesive teams, and successfully implement the strategic vision.

So, how does a good leader exert a positive influence?

Here are some key principles and practices that can help become a more influential leader:

1. Establish Trust and Credibility

Trust is the foundation of influence. People are more likely to listen to and follow someone they trust and respect.

2. Communicate Clearly and Effectively

Communication is the vehicle of influence. Empathy and adaptability are key competencies to communicate effectively.

3. Inspire and Motivate

Inspiration is the fuel of influence. People are more likely to follow someone who inspires them with a compelling vision, a sense of purpose, and a passion for what they do.

4. Empower and Delegate

Empowerment is the outcome of influence. People are more likely to follow someone who empowers them with autonomy, responsibility, and authority.

5. Collaborate and Cooperate

Collaboration is the process of influence. People are more likely to follow someone who collaborates with them as a team player, rather than as a boss or a competitor.

These are some ways that a good leader can influence others positively. By applying these principles and practices, anyone can enhance their leadership effectiveness and impact.

Not quite there yet? Need to level up your influencing skills?  Visit our learning platform, Alievo™ Institute, and discover our learning solutions for teams or take a minute to look at our 6-week micro-program aimed specifically at boosting your influence skills.

I hope the content of this blog was meaningful to you. Thank you once again for being a part of our community. Your support fuels our enthusiasm and motivates us to keep producing high-quality content that resonates with our readers.

Mélanie & Team Alievo®

© This entry was created by Mélanie Lacroix and published on the blog of Alievo™. The content appeals to you? Interested in sharing it? Please quote the source and link to this page!



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