23 Sep 6 tips for improving your influence today
Influence is one of the main ways we get things done at work. Here are some tips to help you to be more influential:
1. Build your credibility over time. Your personal credibility has a significant impact on your degree of influence. Your credibility is determined by things like your self confidence, your presence, your charisma, your experience, your work networks and your skill level. Solid credibility gives you a solid foundation on which to plan an influential communication strategy.
2. Be connected. Be clear in your mind about the basis on which there is the potential for a connection between you and the people you would like to persuade.
In other words, why do others need what you have to offer or why should they change in the way you would like? What is the strategic value you have to offer? Apart from anything else, if you are really clear about this you will have more success in matching your influencing style to the situation.
3. Build rapport. Zig Ziglar famously said: “They don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care”. Work on your rapport-building skills because people will be persuaded when they feel an affinity with you. Rapport is about, trust, a common connection, mutual understanding and a functional relationship in which both parties feel at ease. Rapport-building is a science and there is much to learn for those to whom it does not come naturally.
4. Be assertive. Powerful influencing requires a high degree of assertiveness. In the 21st century people are much less likely to allow people with authority to dictate. Yet an unassertive person will not be heard in our increasingly competitive world. So, communicate your needs or position in a clear, direct and concise way whilst being sure to show respect for the position and feelings of others.
5. Develop persuasive language. Language is a powerful tool in your toolkit. Learn how to use linguistic devices such as: alliteration; anaphora; tricolon; epistrophe; power words; and joining words to increase your influence.
6. Use social Influence. Take time to understand and apply Cialdini’s six principles of social influence.
- Social Proof – we look to what others do to guide our behaviour.
- Reciprocity – we feel obligated to return favours performed for us.
- Commitment and Consistency – we want to act consistently with our commitments and values.
- Authority – we look to experts to show us the way.
- Scarcity – the less available the resource, the more we want it.
- Liking – the more we like people the more we want to say yes to them.
There are a variety of approaches to influencing worth learning and trying throughout your day at work. Remember, it doesn’t matter how good your company is, how good your products or service are, how good your ideas are or how good your message is if no one’s listening. Influencing techniques will help you ensure your message is heard and will increase the chance you’ll hear the word ‘yes’ more often in your life.
Michelle Bowden is an authority on presentation & persuasion in business. Michelle is a CSP (the highest designation for speakers in the world), co-creator of the PRSI (a world-first psychometric indicator that tests your persuasiveness at work), best selling internationally published author (Wiley), editor of How to Present magazine, producer of Michelle Bowden TV, and a regular commentator in print, radio and online media. Sign up for Michelle’s FREE How to Present magazine TODAY http://michellebowden.com.au