The ability to influence others is a key aspect of good, and it allows you to get people motivated, generate their support and inspire them to want to follow you.
To some, influence means winning people over to their own ideas and getting others to do things their way. This isn’t so much influence as it is a way to command and control people, and it is difficult to move an organization forward in that manner.
Mary Jo Asmus, founder and president, Aspire Collaborative Services, offers advice and conversational tools for anyone who wants to have a positive influence on others.
- You need to establish trust and a common interest with others. They aren’t going to listen to you just because you have the right title. People need to know that your interests are the same as theirs and the organization’s, not just a means to your own self-fulfillment.
- You must adapt your conversation and style to your particular audience, be it one person or a thousand. Not everyone wants the same things, and not everyone will be receptive to the same .
- Be prepared to compromise and include necessary parties in your thought process. If you decide to be rigid and inflexible, it’s likely that your influence will suffer. Know what you are willing to give up in order to persuade others and what you will stand firm on.
- Influencing others takes work. You need to build relationships, find out what matters to others, build coalitions and take individuals aside from time to time to manage change.
— Adapted from “The basics of influencing people,” Mary Jo Asmus, SmartBrief’s SmartBlog on Leadership.