Achieving influence in the workplace is key to career success. Regardless of who you are or where you work, if you’re a person of influence, you’re more likely to succeed (and have a positive impact on the success of others). Win/win!
Here’s how it’s done.
1 Cultivate trust with your team
Trust is built through consistency. Do what you say, commit to things and demonstrate follow-through, every time. When people know they can rely on your performance and behaviour, they’re more likely to trust and support your ideas. If you want people to take you seriously, you need to be able to display consistency in the results you deliver and the effort you put into your work.
2 Work smarter, not harder
Lean in to responsibility. Find better and more efficient ways to improve your productivity so as to give you room to take on additional responsibilities that can extend your realm of influence outside of the confines of your role.
3 Lead with solutions
Accept that obstacles are inevitable and make a plan. Be solution-oriented. Set yourself up as the person who the broader team relies on to mobilise the group forward whenever an obstacle arises. Even on bad days, try to avoid complaining – what you say is what you become associated with.
4 Use your position to inspire
Whether you’re a newbie in the office or in a leadership role, grab opportunities to inspire people. In your conversation and interactions, constantly motivate others with a shared sense of purpose. Discuss exciting possibilities and audacious goals with them. Let your passion shine from the inside out: it’s bound to have a ripple effect.
5 Keep working at it
Katharine Hepburn once said, ‘If you ever need a helping hand, it’s at the end of your arm.’
Nobody else is going to help you to increase your influence. You have to take ownership of whatever position you hold in your company and choose to be someone who’ll make a positive impact. What does that look like? Raise your hand for assignments that put you out of your comfort zone and stretch your capacity. Often the best way to grow is to be challenged.
Continuing to learn and develop your skills will only help you grow, so why not tackle an online short course or skills-development programme? When you invest in your professional development, your ability to influence increases too. Visit Getsmarter.co.za for more information on university-approved online short courses.
You can also WIN an online short course with GetSmarter and Africa’s leading universities. Enter now!