I get asked by potential leaders, “How can I be more influential?” They want to increase their influence, become the go-to person so they can learn the skills for increased leadership roles. To move to the next level, you must think and act differently. Here are four tips on how to be more influential in the workplace.
Tip 1. Ask better questions
Asking better questions will allow you to understand things better. When you are working within a group, understand what the goals are of the meeting. Is it to make a decision? Is it to gather information? Ask questions that increase your knowledge based upon the goal of the activity.
We are meeting weary. Most people just show up to another meeting. If you can ask specific questions based upon the purpose of the meeting, you will be light years ahead of everyone else that is auditing the meeting.
Hopefully, you have a meeting agenda, and you take the lead on asking questions that progress through the agenda and increase everyone’s knowledge of the key elements. Taking the lead will increase your influence within that sphere of employees.
Tip 2. Understand your customers
Who are you trying to impact? What are the stakeholder’s expectations? Who are your clients? What are they challenged with and how can you develop a solution that will meet their needs? Focus on the solutions that your customers will embrace and always keep their needs front and center.
Many companies focus on their internal needs. Instead, ask if we did this… how does that impact our customers. Always put yourself in the shoes of the customer- either the internal or external customer. Ask what you can do to make your customer’s lives easier.
Tip 3. How are you going to measure success?
It’s great to brainstorm and come up with all kinds of new ideas that will improve the customer experience. The next step in how to be more influential is to ask how can measure success on this idea, product?
Ideas are cheap. They are free. If you don’t implement ideas, then you have accomplished nothing at all. You must implement and measure the success of an idea or project, etc. Always ask how your company will measure success.
Tip 4. Be the connector
It’s difficult to be the one who connects the key employees in a project or initiative. Especially for people who view themselves as introverts. Focus on the result and work to become the go-to person who understands who needs to be involved for project success.
Work to connect the right resources so that the project is a success. Sell the benefits of being on the team to everyone before the project begins. Market the project so you create a “pull” with employees to discuss with their managers.
If you follow these four tips your influence will soar!
As always, it is an honor to serve you and I hope that you and your company are getting better every day!
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