In the previous blog post we covered the first 2 traits of seriously influential people. When you use these traits you will notice a shift in your influencing results. You can read part 1 here.
Today, I want to cover the next 2 traits which are credibility and empathy.
Trait 3: Credibility
Here is the definition of credibility when it comes to influencing;
“The quality, capability or power to elicit belief”, “A reputation impacting on one’s ability to be believed.”
Notice that in both those definitions credibility isn’t something we assess about ourselves. It’s all about how others perceive us.
So what do others look for when they are making a decision about how credible you are?
It’s simple; there are just 3 things to focus on to increase your credibility:
- your reputation,
- your expertise,
- and your ability to deliver results
Now, think about the most important person right now you wish to influence and ask yourself
how would this person rate you on these three areas; great, Ok, or could do better?
Consider your answers from two points of view, relationship and expertise. Be honest with yourself. When you look at your answers what do you notice and what do you need to do as a result?
Trait 4: Empathy
Before you start thinking empathy is about going ‘soft and fluffy’, let’s define it.
Empathy is; the ability to understand and share the feelings of others. So why does showing empathy make you more influential?
Take yourself as an example and remember the last time you proposed a new idea in the business and a colleague listened. I mean really listened and asked you questions to understand how your idea would work. You no doubt felt:
- listened to,
- and trusted
As a result, I suspect you were then more open to your colleagues, thoughts on your idea and willing to listen to what they had to say; perhaps even add in their suggestions to your original idea.
The beauty of this process is it becomes two way and everybody wins. The influencer becomes the influenced!
If you turn the tables, you can now begin to have more influence over clients and colleagues when you decide to demonstrate empathy and genuinely question and listen to what they have to say. When you do this, you will find your clients and other team members will become more open
to listening to what you have to say and hence more likely to be influenced by you.
Remember, to make this work the key skills to master are; questioning and listening. Here’s a quick exercise.
1. Compile a list of questions that you have used that get the other person ‘thinking’. When a client says to me “Oo that’s a great question, I need to think about that”, I make a mental note of it.
2. Make a note of what stops you listening, or reasons you find yourself switching off;
- are you biased towards your own idea?
- or thinking about what you will say next?
- Perhaps distracted by someone? ……………or a number of alternatives
Once you are aware of what gets in the way of you ‘listening’ you can start to use the questions above and get curious. You will quickly notice a difference in how ‘open’ colleague and clients are towards you and how your ability to influence and get results improves.
In summary, the top 4 traits of great influencers are:
1. Know what you want and believe it.
How would you rate yourself on a scale of 1 to 10 for each of the above. Be brutally honest.
Know what can you do to improve the trait you have scored lower on? Work on this and you will
notice the difference.
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