Without influencing skills, it can be harder to get things done at work. It can often feel like no one is on the same page about your expectations, and it can make leading your teams, departments or an organisation very frustrating.
How are your influencing skills?
- find people are not meeting your standards at work?
- struggle to convince other people about your ideas?
- avoid tough conversations?
- dread ‘high stakes’ conversations and other opportunities to make your mark?
You’re not the only one finding it hard to be more influential…
If you’ve said ‘yes’ to a any of the questions, don’t lose hope – especially if you’re moving up the ranks at work. Influence is one of the most common developmental needs for both new and emerging leaders. I saw this a lot during my own corporate career; people were often confident in their own technical knowledge and topics familiar to them, but when it came to bigger, more complex debates or areas outside their comfort zone, they found it hard to bring their influence. People are often afraid of looking stupid by saying the wrong thing, or not having the right impact. Perhaps you’ve experienced this yourself, or seen it with others in your organisation?
But it’s not just those moving up the ranks – there are many experienced leaders who also struggle with influencing others. They might go out of their way to avoid conflict, never say what needs to be said or rely on having just one influencing approach for every situation – which is a bit like trying to fix a car with only one tool.
Expectations of you increase the more senior you get
As you progress through an organisation, expectations of you change and increase. You need to have immediate impact and clearly articulate your thoughts whilst influencing and connecting with your stakeholders. This often requires a shift in both presence and influence. To some people that can feel very daunting, especially if you haven’t had much support or personal development help at work.
What could Influence do for you?
Influence allows you to have conversations with clear outcomes, authenticity and without manipulation. The most successful leaders influence others to embrace and implement their ideas, rather than resorting to giving orders and stifling creativity. It could help you:
- Have more confidence speaking up in meetings
- Feel more comfortable to lead on projects
- Feel grounded when you want to make an impression
- Make better connections and relationships
- Increase your ability to deal with objections & disagreements
- Improve your ability to manage upwards
- Have the impact you’d like to have
“The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority.”
If you’d like help improving your influence ability for high stakes conversations, I can help. Through coaching you can explore what’s stopping you becoming more influential and practise new strategies for developing your own unique way of influencing others. Just get in touch for more details.