LeadersEdge blog
Insights for Shaping Tomorrow’s Leaders
Why Influence is Still Crucial to Being a Successful Leader
August 8, 2022

The success of any organization relies on the many attributes, skills, and experience of leaders, and being able to influence others in a compassionate and empowering way, is definitely a top 5, must-have skill. 

A self-aware leader understands how to develop this skill in a way that supports their team. In other words, they know how to “read the room” and influence accordingly. They have the confidence to use influence as a tool for inspiring and motivating others to rise to their own levels of success alongside their own.

In short, influential people get things done and help motivate others to do the same.

We encourage you to view influence through the lens of serving others, to help them grow and develop and the following tips can help.

Set Clear Expectations – Provide a Practical Framework to Follow

If we aren’t clear on what is expected, ambiguity rules. Assumptions are made, productivity is compromised, and our team produces sub-par results. 

On the other hand, fostering two-way communication provides your people with the opportunity to ask you questions and seek clarity around your expectations before they tackle the task at hand. They’ll work more efficiently, feel emotionally supported, and will help create the difference between a high-performance team vs. one that achieves mediocre results.

Keep Communicating Regularly

Following the advice above is a good start, however, be sure to regularly check in with your team as what tasks you give them to do are always in dynamic flow until complete.

Some may have different levels of experience, some may be more challenged than others, but if you take the time to ensure they have all they need at any touchpoint, you are demonstrating strong leadership. 

These conversations or not one-sided. In fact, if you encourage others to share progress updates at agreed-upon intervals, even better. That gives your team the confidence to take action and check in to ask question or close the loop on different pieces of the project. It’s all about setting them up for success.

Keep Your Eye on the Bigger Vision

While working in the trenches with your team, you still need to keep focused on the big picture. After all, how you lead is directly tied to your company’s vision. You always need to be proactive and think strategically. Work to be two to three steps ahead of the curve, which allows you to give your people direction that's always forward-focused and results-oriented.

Remember, the further you climb in the leadership ranks, the more you will need to look at the big picture, and be able to confidently connect your people to it.

Influence Using the "Three Cs"

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, connect the dots for them by giving real examples of what it looks like to meet and exceed expectations.

Be empowering and collaborative. When you approach working with your teams this way, you strengthen the power of your influence while enabling others to share their input.

Be Prepared to Adjust on the Fly

Differences of opinion will always be part of any workplace environment. As a leader, you need to be prepared to deal with this at any given time. A good rule of thumb here is to let your head lead rather than your heart. By simply sticking to the facts and keeping your emotions in check, you will help get issues resolved in a timely manner.

A good leader doesn’t want to herd sheep – they encourage their people to have their own voice, to even challenge the status quo. Your job is to keep everyone aligned to the bigger vision, no matter the circumstance, but also foster effective two-way communication while keeping your eye on the bottom line.

More Ways to Help You Leverage Your Influence 

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 are helping yourself, your people, and your organization achieve greater levels of success.

Not sure how to leverage your influence to help your people thrive? I can provide real-life examples and actionable advice tailored to your unique situation.

Contact me via email at joanne.trotta@leadersedgeinc.ca or by phone at 1-855-871-3374. I look forward to hearing from you!

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