Webster’s dictionary defines influence as, “the act or power of producing an effect without apparent exertion of force or direct exercise of command. The power or capacity to cause an effect in indirect or intangible ways.” Often what this really means is the ability to work across a variety of knowledge centers, agendas, cultures, and diversity without having full authority.
Everyone has a sphere of influence. Typically those we influence include our families, close friends, co-workers, acquaintances, and communities. But the single most important person to influence is – YOU. Are you able to influence yourself and your actions so that others see:
Hard work Enthusiasm
Personal authenticity Collaboration
Genuine care and concern for others A spirit of team play
Influence is a process, not an event. It is a conscious, deliberate effort, not happenstance. It is gained over time, through relationship development and management. When gained, it must be guarded, nurtured and applied. Influence is a very valuable resource, often more valuable than money. It can also be squandered, misused or lost.
- Make others feel important
- You can disagree without being disagreeable
- Solicit and incorporate input from others
- Be willing to change your plan to accommodate new ideas
- Be willing to admit that someone else has a better idea
- Provide negative feedback in a positive way
- Acknowledge and recognize team member contributions
- Listen – really listen