We have a responsibility to influence people in our lives to be the best people they can be. Therefore encourage one another and build each other up. – Dr Henry Cloud
When we think about the word ‘influential’, we immediately are struck with the thought of someone in an authoritative position or perhaps someone with a title. Truth is that influence has a lot less to do with hierarches but more with how you motivate those around you and support them.
Influencing is the ability to have an effect on someone or something. Everyone has an influence on people around them. At various degrees, we are subconsciously influenced by every little thing around us. Some things or people leave a lasting impression and prove to be a large influence on the minds of people. These are the people who lead and have the power to change the way people think. People with influence are usually trusted more.
Influencers have in them the amazing ability to maintain a positive outlook and inspire their team to achieve their goals. However, the more important ability that truly makes great leaders influential is their ability to do so without meaning to. Influencing is much more than motivating someone to do something.
It requires people to exemplify and lead with action. It requires you to be more empathetic and understanding. Because that is the only way you can make people relate to you. And believe me, it is only when people relate to you, would they be inspired by you.
As a corporate trainer, I believe that influencing skills can be learnt. So, here are my thoughts on how to be an influencing personality:
- Good communication
Communication is one of the most important corporate behavioral skills. You cannot influence someone if you cannot hold a conversation with them. One should be capable of having a conversation about any topic that may arise in a conversation. Hence, one should be well read and aware of what is happening in their surroundings. Reading will help you broaden your horizons and develop the ability of thinking outside the box. Good communication skills not only include talking, but also include listening. Active listening is often an underrated skill. Listening actively will help you understand other people better and establish influence. Building personal connections with your colleagues will become easier.
- Work speaks for itself
As mentioned above, someone who is respected is always influential. Earning respect requires you to work. We all know of someone who is all talk and no action. Well, actions attract respect. Putting in genuine efforts in your work and religiously giving your best will always earn you respect. You may have to take extra efforts to get better at your job and execute your tasks with accuracy. Being good at your job and working hard is the most dignified way of earning respect.
- Understanding your audience
One must always take into consideration their audience or the people they are addressing. Understanding and analyzing their background and mindset is important. This helps you think of the topics which might emerge in the conversation or the topics you can add. For example, talking to a farmer about painting and art would not be any beneficial.
- Body Language
People have a set image of an influential personality in their minds. Someone who looks sharp, talks a certain way, walks in a confident manner. Studies show that our body language has an impact on how we feel and how others perceive us. You must inculcate good body language skills in yourself. The secret to building almost anything is to develop a habit. Develop a habit of maintaining a good posture. Sitting and walking straight gives you confidence and exerts a strong personality. Avoid slouching as it creates an impression of laziness.
- Build Meaningful Relationships
Positive relationships are beneficial to everyone and are a great way to accelerate growth. Focus on being authentic and forming supportive relationships. Take time to connect with people and get to know them better.
Some people may be born with an inherent trait of influencing others, but it can be developed over time with practice and perseverance. Creating an influence on people is a skill that can enable you to become a good leader. Remember, influencing is more than simply motivating or convincing people to do something. It is about inspiring people without explicit orders. These tips will help you transform into a better learner and hence a better influencer.