Whether you are a CEO, manager, team member, freelancer or supplier, the same rules apply when it comes to not only speaking up, but actually being listened to.
There are four big diagnostic questions that will help you ascertain how influential you are at work and get closer to your goals.
When are you at your most influential at work?
It's all about your power to influence others indirectly, and sometimes unintentionally, rather than using deliberate tactics to persuade them.
You may not immediately be aware when you're influencing others, because it happens naturally. Think about when other people have moved in your direction without you pushing them to do so. It's much easier to spot the result than the process. You may have noticed a colleague quoting you during meetings, or adopting a similar style of presenting.
Make notes on what actually happened (in the style of the police recording an incident); you want evidence, rather than analysis.
Which situations most commonly lead to deadlock?
Being stuck in deadlock is the antithesis of being influential. You need to identify the antecedents to reaching deadlock. There will likely be some trends that emerge, including:
- types of people with whom you just don't gel;
- one side abusing their status and the other being entrenched in 'being right';
- conflicting agendas;
- time pressure;
- no one caring enough about finding a compromise.
Pick your battles - invest in the occasions that are worth winning. To tackle deadlock, try something different - this will require time and perseverance.
What happens if you are thrown in at the deep end?
Reflect on these situations, and think about what made you feel out of your depth. This requires difficult self-analysis to see if you can uncover the underlying cause behind the symptom.
Who do you know who always makes an impact?
Make a list of your top role models with whom you have worked directly. Repeat this for people you have only met, and those you just know through the media. It doesn't matter which sector they represent - the more varied the better.
Note down what they do, rather than how they do it, and take this forward as your goal.
My advice to any client is to always seek out opportunities at work and speak with your colleagues. It not only raises your profile, but also builds relationships - helping you to become more influential at work as you share information and ideas. The trick is to make your communication count.
When thinking of your responses to the four questions above, you will increase your self-awareness and will gain a clearer idea of what areas you need to work on to become more influential.
Sponsored post. Copyright © 2018 Simon de Cintra, business coach, mentor and founder of MyFirstTrainers®