One single person cannot successfully run a large organisation. Delegating responsibility, influencing others and managing time and resources wisely are required to be an agile, effective leader. The art of influencing others can be extremely nuanced and personal, and leaders who strive to improve this art will likely see more success in the future.
Our world is becoming increasingly entrenched in digital technologies, and many leaders & workers may feel apprehensive about what role they will play in the future. However, as technologically advanced as we have become, robots and AI are years away from being able to duplicate many human traits, including the art of influence. As one anonymous saying goes, “Influence may be the highest of human skills.”
Role models are great influencers in our lives. Why should leaders not step up to the plate and also be great influencers? After all, you cannot manage a huge company alone, and influencing others to see and believe in your vision will ensure continued success. A good leader understands what is happening to others, and can draw them in subtly, to encourage engagement.
“Leadership is not about titles, positions or flowcharts. It is about one life influencing another.”
John C. Maxwell
4 WAYS TO INCREASE YOUR INFLUENCE
ON PEOPLE AROUND YOU
You can certainly increase your personal power and develop the capacity to influence others. We tend to follow those who can help guide us and teach us, not someone with a long, fancy title or the biggest corner office. Consider these four tips to increase your influence:
Give the gift of time. You’re busy. Everyone is busy. Taking the time to slow down can mean everything to someone you are interacting with. When you give people your undivided attention, you are showing them you value the interaction. While most people like to stay busy, being too busy likely means you’re missing out on things around you. Giving the gift of time means asking personal questions, putting your phone away and to stop mentally typing an email during a conversation or meeting.
Lead by example. Others will be more likely to follow you when they respect you. Influence doesn’t come automatically. Leading by example shows others you can “walk the walk”. When you show kindness, respect and compassion for others, you are showing the world your character, and people will respect you for it.
Give your brain a rest. A brain that is always on will eventually burn out. Giving yourself permission to take a rest will actually increase your agility in the long run. Spend time alone, doing things you enjoy. If it’s a cool drink on your patio or a hike in nature, find what you like and then do it, without any excuses. Being clingy to others is not inspiring, so learn to give your brain a rest with some “you” time.
Have clear priorities. Our capacity to have an effect on others is increased when we have clear priorities. It’s much easier for others to see your vision if YOU first understand what the vision is. Vague, undefined goals or policies only serve to confuse others. If people aren’t sure what you stand for, they will probably not stand up behind you.
Exerting your influence on others in a positive manner can take time to master, and there likely won’t be a magic robot which can fill this role anytime soon. However, you don’t want to push too hard or be too rigid and inflexible. By increasing your agility, you’ll be able to influence others to share your visions for the future.