10 Ways to Command Influence

By Dennis McCafferty  |  Posted 10-28-2013 Email Print this article Print

You need more than a lofty job title or a long list of potential benefits. And, frankly, you need more than a strong proposal. No, in order to gain important advocates within your organization for your IT-driven plans, you have to emerge as influential. So what's this actually mean? Well, it's an intangible quality for certain—like a judge once famously said, "I know it when I see it." But the recent book, Confidence: Overcoming Low Self-Esteem, Insecurity, and Self-Doubt (Hudson Street Press), reveals the following best practices to develop soft skill-based techniques to help elevate your wish list into a must have within your company's leadership, as well as peers. Contrary to the broader implications of the book's title, author Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic does not encourage readers to pursue the appearance of extreme confidence. Too much of this quality, after all, can lead to excessive arrogance, and this could lead to a career disaster. Instead, he endorses the more subtle concept of projecting a persona of engaging competency. Chamorro-Premuzic is an author and contributor to Harvard Business Review, and also serves as vice president of Hogan Assessments, a personality testing and consulting service that helps organizations recruit high-potential employees and future leaders. For more about the book, click here.

  • Seek to Influence, but not to Control

    Accept the reality that there are certain factors that are out of your hands. Besides, those who come across as overly controlling often eventually get undercut.
    1-Seek to Influence, but not to Control
  • Never Convey Uncertainty About Your Idea

    Know how to convey confidence even when you harbor some doubts. Your self-assuredness will increase others' impressions of your capabilities. Do not, however, allow this to lapse into arrogance.
    2-Never Convey Uncertainty About Your Idea
  • Don't Obsess About "Winning" Arguments

    Even if you're right, people will grow weary of constantly needing to go toe-to-toe with you.
    3-Don't Obsess About
  • Don't be Overly Critical

    There is no totally right or wrong path in 99% of decisions. Influential leaders can see things aren’t always black and white and can forge alliances with others.
    4-Don't be Overly Critical
  • Give Praise, but Only If It's Honest

    Praise only works when people feel that you sincerely believe in them.
    5-Give Praise, but Only If It's Honest
  • Embrace Diverse Perspectives

    When you do, you gain insights into how many parties think, enhancing your ability to persuade them to do what you need them to do.
    6-Embrace Diverse Perspectives
  • Smile

    It's far, far easier to say "Yes" to a grin instead of a grimace.
  • Remember Names

    It demonstrates that you care about the people you're attempting to bring on board. This includes the names of their family members, loved ones, significant others, too.
    8-Remember Names
  • Use Listening as a Tool

    Every conversation presents the opportunity to soak up a potential advocate's perspectives, agendas and more—all of which you need to know to gain influence.
    9-Use Listening as a Tool
  • Spread the Love

    Once a project's success is clear, lavish credit upon your supporters. It will encourage these colleagues and team members to support your next initiative.
    10-Spread the Love
Dennis McCafferty is a freelance writer for Baseline Magazine.


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