What do, Barack Obama, and the late Nelson Mandela and Steve Jobs have in common?
Answer: They are each regarded as having the key traits of great influencers.
This is a two part series; on one of the most important communications skills, the ability to influence. If you want to be a successful contributor in any business you have to be skilled at influencing.
The 6 key strategies for influencing are based on the work of Dr Robert Cialdini. A great read and worth downloading from Amazon. In the first of two articles we want to get practical and explore how YOU can develop these traits too.
Trait 1: Knowing what you want and believing you can get it
It is a well-known fact that to be successful in any part of your life it is important to know exactly what you want to achieve.
Often people find it easier to think about what they don’t want and articulate their goals in a negative way. I hear some coaching clients say;
“I don’t want to only be a sales representative” or “I don’t want to work for a company who don’t develop their people”
To become more influential as a manager it’s important to state what it is you want in the positive and here’s the key: What distinguishes people like Bill Gates or the late Steve Jobs and his peers is that they 110% believe that they will achieve their goal.
They have a mindset for success.
Here are a few ideas to help you build your Influencing mindset;
- write down 3 reasons why your ideas are valued and valuable,
- list all the positive things about yourself.
- Practice using positive language such as, “I will…” not “ I should.
Trait 2: Trustworthiness
‘Trust’ has become quite a hot topic over the last few years in business for a number of reasons:
Loss of public confidence in the wake of financial scandals, tax avoidance schemes, bankers’ bonuses, to name just a few. As individuals, we trust people who we perceive as behaving authentically, but what does this mean?
Most people associate authenticity with “walking the talk.” However this suggests that authenticity is all about how you feel about yourself. However authenticity is actually about how we relate to
other people not just our self. To be truly authentic then you need to be comfortable in your ‘own skin’ and be able to comfortably connect with others.
Let’s take these two parts one by one.
How can you be feel comfortable about yourself in relation to work?
The starting point is that you are happy, motivated and fulfilled doing what you are doing.
For this to happen you need to be meeting your own personal needs and values. In other words
doing what’s important to you.
We often find when training or coaching clients that are not happy or motivated in their work it’s because they are doing a job that they no longer find as fulfilling or have outgrown.
Ask yourself then; what’s important to you about the job you do? Then make sure these needs are being met or create a plan of what you need to do to ensure that they are.
Be comfortable connecting with others.
When you understand what’s important to you about what you do, the company you want to work in and the people you want to work with it makes it so much easier to behave towards others
in a way that works for you and the other person.
Here’s an example to explain what I mean.
Think about times when you haven’t listened to other people, how often has this been because you weren’t interested in what you/they were doing?
Now remember what you tend to do when you are passionate about working on a particular project
with a client. You are far more willing to make time for the client and their team. You share information willingly; you will go out of your way to do things without expecting anything in return.
You let people know how pleased you are when things go well for them. These behaviours each encourage the other person to trust you.
It is so easy to connect with people when you are doing something you love and is important to you!
Look out next time for two more traits that you can take action on straight away, to become even more influential.
To find out more about how to use the principles of influence in your organisation you can get in touch here. Or call us on +44 (0)1628 488 854