CIOProject Management

How to Increase Your Influence at Work

You never mastered the Jedi mind trick, and your hypno-coin is broken. How do you increase your influence at work now? In an article for Harvard Business Review, Rebecca Knight spells out everything you need to know to build your power at work without mind control and brainwashing.

Old-Fashioned Influence

Before you can start to exert influence, you have to be liked by people in the first place. You can accomplish this by simply being pleasant and helpful to everyone you meet. The more positive connections you can build, the better. Another way you can be liked is by giving people your undivided attention when they have something to say, especially in cases where you are looking to persuade them. The best way to make everything about you is to be able to explain how you can help them. If nothing else, take away that key point.

As always, it is a good idea to keep an eye on your body language too. Standing up straight and keeping your shoulders back presents strength, and it will influence how you speak. Slumped shoulders and posture will influence you too, but in the opposite way.

Posture only takes you so far though. Developing expert knowledge of some kind will really earn you respect, especially if you have certifications to show for it and/or are seen regularly going to conferences. People are willing to yield to wisdom.

One more tip Knight provides about influence is to map a strategy around it:

When it comes time to leverage the influence you’ve built to promote a particular initiative or idea, be strategic. [Dorie Clark, author of Entrepreneurial You] recommends creating a “power map” to guide your campaign. “Create an org chart of decision makers related to your issue,” she says. As you go through the levels, “ask yourself, ‘Can I influence this person directly? If not, whom can I influence who can influence that person?’” Then begin to think about how and when you will approach these various colleagues. “War-game the situation,” she says. “Who might be threatened by your plans, and how can you bring them over to your side?” You’re not scheming; you’re strategizing.

You can view the original article here:

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