There is a real buzz about influence in the business world at the moment. People want to know who is influential, who does not have influence and why influence is really necessary. If you believe that you are not as influential as you want to be then you can do something about it.
The fact is that you will have more influence than you credit yourself for. What you are not doing is identifying the opportunities to use it. A lot of people do not have the confidence to use their influence as they may feel that they do not have the right authority to do so. This is especially true in organizations.
But running scared is not a good option. There have been cases where children have asked innocent questions that have resulted in government’s making changes to their policies. It doesn’t matter where you fit in the scheme of things – you have an idea and it needs to be heard.
3 Steps to become a Person of Influence
You can always make improvements to enhance your powers of influence. To be a sustained person of influence we recommend that you follow the 3 steps below. Change will not always be easy so you need to stick at it.
- Be Consistent
If you are not someone that walks their talk then it is going to be really difficult for you to influence others. People want to see that you stand behind your values and practice what you preach. You are not perfect so you are likely to make some mistakes. But as long as there is consistency with what you say and do you are on the right track.
So if you say you are going to do something then do it. If you agree to be somewhere at a certain time then don’t be late or not show up. Integrity is essential for influence. By stating that you live your life against specific values you must demonstrate that you do this – even in your private life.
Consistent people are transparent. They do not have hidden agendas. Over time others know that they can trust them to deliver the goods. Others will listen to you a lot more when you achieve this and it will be easier for you to influence them.
- Use Empathy
If you want to be a person of influence then you must listen to others. It is essential that you are able to understand the point of view of others. You may not agree totally with what they are saying but you certainly get the gist of it. Using empathy is a very powerful way to gain trust and help you to influence.
When other people feel that you understand them they will be very likely to listen to you. They feel that you take their views into consideration and have their interests at heart. So use empathy to your advantage.
- Be Courageous
It is essential that you have the courage to get your point of view across. When an opportunity presents itself then you need to take it. Back this up with research and the facts to present your opinion.
A more difficult situation is where you believe that existing ideas need to change. You are going to need even more courage to stand up and say what you feel here. But if you don’t say anything when you know things are not working then you will let yourself down as well as others.