5 things influential people do at work

by | Leadership

Influence happens when other people give you permission to change how they think, talk, and behave.

So, how do you become a person of positive influence at work? Here are five ideas for you to try:

1: Insist on clear vision and priorities.

It’s very hard to ignore the question, “To what end?” By and large, people are wired and more motivated to do things that are rational, purposeful. Any time you can help your team, your boss, or direct reports think more clearly about the purpose of their plans, tasks, or ideas, you will bring positive influence.

2: Prepare your team for effectiveness.

High-functioning teams have the greatest potential to affect an organization’s productivity and profit margin. Every team needs a compelling challenge and clear roles. You don’t have to make these conversations ethereal or mythical, but by talking about these things plainly, you will introduce a more profound sense of purpose and unity in your teams—this is positive influence. Try asking these questions:

  • First: “What are the most important results this team is trying to accomplish?” Your team’s challenge must be hard and compelling enough to cause a healthy interdependency between teammates (if the goal were achievable alone, why do I need a team to do it?). A hard, compelling objective encourages collaboration and openness. Does your team have a compelling purpose?
  • Second: “Who’s playing what role?” Each team is different and often requires different roles. The roles on a football team are more widely variable than those on a sprinting team, but nevertheless in both scenarios, every teammate has a role to play that represents a commitment to his or her teammates. Does your team have clear roles?

3: Design for fast, reliable decision-making.

“How do we make decisions here?” It could be a daily team huddle or devising a new organizational structure. It could entail a revitalized strategic plan or simply a weekly discussion around your team’s planned set of targets and deliverables. It shouldn’t be complicated, but it’s important that your decision-making mechanics match the size, speed, and complexity of the types of business decisions you need to make to get better results. Any opportunity you have to make help your organization make good decisions faster, you’re bringing a positive influence to those involved.

4: Keep your word and do good work.

Everything above is virtually a moot point if you cannot demonstrate integrity and competence. The foundation of all positive influence is trust.

5: Train and release others around you to practice the four things above.

You are a rare breed if you effectively reproduce influential people around you. The more people in your organization who regularly do the four things mentioned above, the more results you’ll achieve together, the less rework, drama, and drag you’ll generate, and the more fun you’ll have.

Regardless of your job or position, you can grow the level of influence you have on others today. I hope this spurs some ideas for you!


About EdifiersEdifiers Consulting is an El Paso-based business consulting firm specializing in project management and process improvement. We help clients implement their organizational, operational, and business technology transformations.


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