Influence.  What is it? Is it innate or can it be learned?

Influence is our ability to share with others our ideas in a logical, understandable fashion and in a way that they can hear and absorb and be likely to embrace and integrate.  It is intended to inspire others to action through their thoughts, emotions and behaviors. Does building influence sound daunting?

7 ways that you can increase your influence follow:

  1. Build trust and rapport with others.
  2. Consistently contribute where you can.  While we cannot expect others to do the same in return, many people like to reciprocate.
  3. When you do share your ideas, use logic and evidence.  Explain how you came to your idea, and share what backs it up.
  4. Appeal to people’s values.  You get to know these values through consistent active listening (see September 2018 blog post).  What is important to people and, therefore, important for you to consider when sharing your idea? How does your idea tie in with what is important to others?
  5. Take a consultative approach.  Seek input from those who will be impacted by the implementation of your idea.  Ask them first before you present your idea. Find out their concerns and their hopes.  Listen.
  6. Be flexible and open for further input when you do present your idea.
  7. Know yourself (see October 15, 2018 blog post).  Think about how you will approach sharing your idea.  Who needs to buy-in? What has worked in the past for these people?  How can you create a win-win idea?

When we can break influence down into the above manageable steps, it is really much more natural than we might initially imagine.  What do influencers that you know do to gain your desire to support them and engage with what they are sharing?

Yours in curiosity,