Everyone who is a manager doesn’t necessarily have the support of their teams. This is important to note. What could be keeping you from exercising the power of influence? Here’s how to know if you have what it takes.
What is Influence anyway?
It looks different to each of us, but an effective influential person exhibits three main characteristics:
- They communicate openly – This includes reflective listening as well as providing all information needed to make an informed decision.
- They work to solve problems – Obstacles and concerns are chances to showcase the benefits of the plan.
- They resolve differences – Use the issues to foster creative ideas that will bring everyone together on the project.
You may know managers who bulldoze their way through meetings and negotiations like a wrecking ball. Any questions or concerns are seen as “not a team player”. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. What results is an air of mistrust where team members feel devalued, unheard and discounted. That is not the way to an effective and efficient working relationship.
Every manager has the power to influence their team when they use the right tools.
Passion for the Work
Speaking of tools, the main tool that you need (besides a good idea) is a passion for the project or plan. Passion is the fuel that drives the project vehicle. It is easy to speak at length and answer questions about something that you believe in. Why? It is dear to you and means a lot. This is what gets other people on your bandwagon. They can see your driving force and they want to experience that as well.
When asked to push a plan or project that you don’t care for or particularly believe in its merits, it shows through your communication with the team. People are less likely to support something that gives them misgivings. If you can’t convince yourself, how will you convince them to get behind the project?
The Power of Influence
How do you know if you have the power to influence your team? Listen up and evaluate yourself against the five points below.
- You have a sound idea – You have asked yourself as many questions as you can to try and poke holes in the idea and it holds up.
- You can describe the benefits of your idea – What are the pluses of implementing your proposal? Is the purpose one that others can get behind?
- You communicate your idea with passion – Are you excited to share this idea?
- Listen to others with empathy – Instead of getting defensive about the issues they raise, seek to understand where they are coming from and provide the necessary information to allay their fears.
- You collaborate with others – You are willing to work together as a team with other departments to bring the idea to fruition.