Who have been the three most influential people in your life? I bet those people came to mind fairly quickly to you.
Can you name the traits that each of them had that got them into that category in your life?
If you are part of this tribe of readers, who are constantly working to improve yourself (like I am), I want to give a fun challenge: Become an influencer in another person’s life. I’m not talking about the social media influencer. Rather, this is about the good, old-fashioned one-on-one influencer that has a deep effect on another for the better.
Influence is one of the most motivating factors in decision making. When you have a major decision to make, what are the influences that drive you to a final decision?
It’s normal to base any big decisions you make on how it will affect your loved ones. In essence, you could say that those closest to you have a lot of influence on the decisions you make in life.
Influence is the capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behavior of someone or something.
So, how do you become influential so you can produce your desired effects on the actions, behaviors and opinions of others? Let’s go through some simple strategies now.
Lead by Example
The best way to influence someone is in your own behavior. This can go both ways – good or bad. If you want to influence someone to be positive and do well, you’ll need to be a living example of the behavior you expect.
In your workplace, be someone that others would want to model. That means you should strive to be on time, work diligently and avoid gossiping about others.
Also, be aware of how you spend your time at work. Are you spending it wisely or are you “milking the clock?” If you expect your co-workers or employees to make the most of their time at work, you should be doing the same.
People are led by example and will likely do whatever others around them are doing. If you’re a leader, then you’re the example they’ll follow. Remember, you can exert influence over others by becoming a positive example to model.
Communication is a Key Factor in Influencing
What you say and how you say it is of utmost importance when influencing others.
If you’re condescending or condemning in your speech, others will see you as haughty, arrogant and egotistical. Most likely, they’ll steer away from you. However, when you’re uplifting, encouraging and genuine, others tend to listen and heed what you say.
One way to speak in an encouraging tone is to use your voice as if you’re at dinner with your in-laws. You most likely wouldn’t be harsh or rude when speaking to them; nor would you speak down to them with a condescending tone. You’d use a calm tone of voice and speak pleasantly.
Think of it as using your “salt and pepper” voice. When you ask someone to pass the salt and pepper, are you rude, demanding or harsh? Not likely. You’re probably soft spoken, with a lilt in your voice, which influences the person to immediately pass the salt and pepper to you.
Be Authoritative, Not an Authoritarian
Of course, this doesn’t mean you should lack confidence when you speak, it simply means you are authoritative and not an authoritarian—that you speak with confidence rather than arrogance.
If you want to be an influence in the workplace, you’ll want to lead by example and speak with an encouraging, yet confident tone. In doing so, becoming a powerful influence can prove to be a beneficial and successful experience.