Too many bemoan how little power they have at work. They may have more than they think. The problem is they aren’t doing a darn thing about it.
The boss wields power because he or she has been granted the authority to do so.
For the rest of us, power comes through our ability to influence. Some of the most influential people I know have very little formal power.
Their secret is understanding influence and how to get more of it.
Wouldn’t it be nice for people to listen to your ideas and opinions? If you’re ready to exert more influence, it’s time for you to start practicing the behaviors that will get others to pay attention to what you have to say.
I’ve assembled a list of 25 behaviors. Pick out a few that appeal to you and start creating better habits based on them.
- Get to know people. Build relationships with everyone.
- Take the initiative in offering help to coworkers.
- Accept or ask for help from others. Return the favor when you can.
- Ask others for their opinions.
- Ask people about their goals and interests. Validate them out loud.
- Listen intently. Show people you are interested in them.
- Acknowledge what others say before making your point.
- Show your appreciation, offering abundant praise and gratitude.
- Identify influencers and learn from them.
- Offer solutions rather than blame.
- Show your happiness and optimism. Smile a lot.
- Talk up your goals. Show passion and enthusiasm for your work.
- Focus on outcomes. Lose your attachment to methods.
- Prepare. Demonstrate you’ve done your homework.
- Back up your proposals with data or stories, depending on the audience.
- Watch your timing. Approach people when they are most receptive.
- Act trustworthy. Keep your promises. Don’t gossip about others.
- Act with positive intent. Make your intentions transparent.
- Be first to make a proposal.
- Take notes in meetings.
- Stay cool and diplomatic when you are angry or irritated.
- Take responsibility for your actions and performance.
- Apologize when you’ve messed up.
- Work hard. Do your best.
- Act with confidence, without conveying arrogance.
Common Sense Isn’t Common Practice
If you want people to say yes when they don’t have to, you need to influence them. Influence doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time.
Many of these practices look like common sense, but many don’t do them. You should. Start today, and watch your influence grow!
I have a workshop based on this list. It’s perfect for any organization that wants people at all levels to start showing more leadership. Contact me if you’re interested.