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Influential at work

Influential at work

Let’s face it you can’t get anyone to do anything.  Nobody cares.  You’re a big loser and you get nothing done.

You’re not the boss and everyone knows it.  It doesn’t matter that the Big Giant Head told you to make it happen. It’s not happening. They won’t listen.  Just like the theme song for the TV show, Malcom in the Middle, your coworkers are telling you “You’re not the boss of me and you’re not so big”.

Sigh.

If only you had authority. If only you could put your foot down and make people do what you want.  If only you were influential. Then it would be easy.

… double sigh.

You may think you are the only one who has this problem. You’re not.

We all do.

No matter where you are in the organization, each one of us needs the help and cooperation of others in order to get results.

The challenge for you and for each one of us is how to  get results without being the Big Giant Head?

One of the most important strategies to get results from others is influence.

Being influential is not manipulative or devious or taking advantage. It is about working with the team to overcome barriers that can stand in your way to get things done.

There are many ways to influence others. But in my view these are the top 5.

1.     TAKE AN INTEREST IN OTHER PEOPLE

People do things for people they like. Become sincerely interested in other people. Smile, remember their names and be a good listener. Encourage them to talk about themselves. It’s that simple.

2.     BE SENSITIVE AND PERSISTENT

What if they still say NO?

Don’t give up.

Many times no doesn’t mean no. It could really mean I need more information or I am lost. After you identify the underlying reason, do what you can to fix the objection and don’t hesitate to ask again.  Be sensitive and persistent.

3.     KEEP YOUR OPINIONS TO YOURSELF

Do not criticize your coworkers. Do not criticize management.  And in particular do not talk about your personal beliefs. Do not discuss politics or religion. Criticism is insidious and will rip your team apart. Instead be professional and focus on the positive aspects of the job.

4.     BE GRATEFUL

Everyone wants to be appreciated and noticed in a positive way. Acknowledge to them and to others the important role they are playing or have played.  This is not about you and the praise you receive it is about recognizing others. If they think you won’t express appreciation then it is unlikely they will do anything to help you meet your goal.

5.     STOP WHEN THEY SAY YES

And once they’ve said yes. Stop. Don’t continue to say why it is important. This is insulting and plain annoying. They understand, why do you keep telling them?

So now you have a strategy and some tools to work with your team and get the job done. The Big Giant Head will be proud.