The Power of Influence in Leadership
The ability to influence is an essential skill required by leaders, that, in turn, is a key enabler to establish the success of any team or organization.
Influential people get things done. They not only produce results on their own, but they also have a knack for inspiring and motivating others to do the same.
I encourage you to explore this topic with me through the lens of leading others vs. solely focusing on your own success. If you were inspired down this path of leadership because you desired to you serve others, help them grow and develop, then we are in complete alignment on our purpose so please, let’s continue to build on the importance of influence in leadership.
Establish Expectations – Giving Your People a Practical Framework to Follow
One of the cornerstones of empowering leadership is the ability to set and maintain clear and specific expectations.
The best way to ensure you prevent your people from working in ambiguity is to set clear expectations around what you expect, desired outcomes, timelines, etc. When we neglect to get into any level of specifics around our expectations guess what happens? Assumptions set in and our expectations are often not met causing frustration, loss in productivity and below average results are produced.
Two-way communication is essential in this context, by also ensuring you provide your people with the opportunity to ask you questions and seek clarity around your expectations before they embark of delivering for you and the organization. They will feel supported, and everyone wins, trust strengthens and high performance vs. mediocre results are achieved.
Check the Pulse of the Team Regularly
When you have tasked an employee with a request or project and have provided clear direction and expectations, please do not think this is a “one and done” action.
You may need to follow up to ensure they do not experience challenges or have additional questions as they move forward. Or better yet, encourage them to share progress updates on their key deliverables and priorities with you based on a frequency that you both agree to.
Ask thoughtful questions and listen intently to help them feel supported. Conversations like these enhance your ability to influence and guide their thinking and decisions to ensure you set them up for success.
Dig Deeper If Necessary
While you may have ticked all the boxes so far by establishing clear and specific expectations and priorities and checking in regularly on the progress of your team, there are times when you need to dig deeper into the details. Simply trusting without validation can lead to derailed projects and initiatives.
For example, you may end up wondering how you didn’t spot a problem or anticipate one that was readily apparent. The point is don’t assume that everything will go smoothly. Your role is to ensure your people are successful, so be sure to explore their initiatives in a little more detail when required.
By encouraging this, I am not suggesting you need to micromanage others. Quite the opposite, in fact. It’s about ensuring that you both understand what is expected and work collaboratively if there are any issues getting in their way to ensure a successful outcome.
Keep Your Eye on the Big Picture
How you lead is directly tied to your company’s vision. Therefore, you need to understand what it takes to ensure everyone is striving to exceed the organization's objectives and goals. Thinking strategically and proactively means staying two or three steps ahead of the curve, which allows you to give your people direction that's always forward focused and results oriented.
Strategic thinking and looking at things from 10,000-foot view is your responsibility. The higher up you climb in the traditional leadership ranks, the more it will call for big-picture thinking, and connecting the dots for your people.
Use the "Three C's" to Enhance Your Influence
Competency, credibility, and confidence, known collectively as the "Three C's," help you establish credibility and boost your ability to influence. When communicating with your people, be empowering and collaborative, strong, steady, and firm. Back up your directives with facts and real examples of what it looks like to meet and exceed expectations. When you communicate this way, you strengthen your influence, plus you enable others to share their voice which is a powerful way to create engagement and results.
Adjust Accordingly with the Inevitable Fluctuations
People having a difference of opinion is commonplace in any work environment. However, as a leader, you need to set the tone for how to deal with these differences. This is where your “head” should prevail over your “heart”. Sticking to the facts and refraining from becoming overly emotional in the moment will help you stay on steady ground and get issues resolved.
Remember though, that you also want to ensure your people aren’t just following you blindly. Encourage them to challenge your thinking. If you have the popular vote, that’s great, but you must keep your eye on the bottom line. As you can see, being an effective influencer is a give-and-take process.
Help to Leverage Your Influence in Meaningful Ways
With everything leaders must deal with every day, it can be easy to lose sight of the fact that every action you take and everything you say influences everyone around you. If you work hard to ensure your approach to influence comes from a place of authenticity, open mindedness, and compassion, you can achieve better results, increase employee engagement and bottom-line results for your business.
If you are not sure how to leverage your influence to help your people succeed, I can provide real-life examples and actionable advice that will make an immediate difference to your career as a leader.
Feel free to contact me via email at email@example.com or by phone at 1-855-871-3374.