Use Your Influencing Skills To Gain Respect and Propel Your Career
We all want to be respected at work. Respected for what we accomplish. Respected for our input and ideas. It’s a great feeling to know that we are contributing in a meaningful way that gains the respect of others. It’s also important to be able to be influential at work as well from time to time. When we have the ability to influence others at work it can help us accomplish personal career goals as well as business goals. This will also lead to being respected as well. In this article we will look at how to be influential and gain respect at work.
This is from an article I wrote for Lifehack here “How To Be Influential and Gain Respect at Work”.
Benefits of Being Influencial at Work
One of the primary traits of top leaders in the workplace is the ability to influence others. Influencing others may have you thinking of a pushy salesman. Someone who is trying to influence you into buying something. The reality is being able to influence others, especially at work, is hugely beneficial for a number of reasons.
When you can be influential at work it helps you achieve key objectives. If you have to get others on board to move a project forward you need to be able to influence. When you influence you are able to convey key points to the people you work with. You can explain to them how something will benefit the company. Might be something that is good for the company, your customers, or the employees. In any case your ability to show those benefits to others you work with will help you be influential to achieve your objectives and goals.
Besides influencing others to help the company, it’s also good for your personal growth, development, and success. You will be able to influence your way to getting the tools and resources you need to be successful. Remember, you are in charge of your career. No one will do it for you.
Benefits of Being Respected at Work
The benefits of being respected at work are wide ranging. When you are respected others give your opinion heavier gravity. Plainly stated, when you speak, others listen. And pay attention. This works hand in hand with being influential. If you think about it, when you are respected, it automatically generates the ability to influence others with your opinion.
Of course respect isn’t just given anywhere. Not at work, not in any relationships with others. Respect is something that must be earned. It’s earned by doing what you say you are going to do. Consistently achieving good results will earn you ongoing respect. Standing up for what’s right will always earn others respect as well. Leading others through difficult times and projects will gain you respect.
Let’s look at how to be influential at work and gain others respect.
How To Be Influential at Work
Build Your Connections
Even though we aren’t in high school anymore it’s always a good idea to build connections. When you work at building connections with others they remember you for it. People are much more willing to be influenced by you if they like you. Conversely if people don’t like you very much they won’t necessarily want to go along with the things you are wanting them to. Make friends and build connections.
Make Sure You Listen
I’ve mentioned this in other articles on communication. Half of communicating is listening. In this case listening to others let’s them know you care what they say. You are listening to what’s important to them and they will remember that. And if you can incorporate what is important to others into your plans of action that will be hugely beneficial to you and your strategy. It helps you gain more and more support if it benefits more people.
Paint a Great Picture
When you can paint a clear picture of what you are wanting it helps others to see it. This is especially true if you are working towards a large end goal. When you can show others in a clear positive light what the end game looks like it will be very beneficial in helping you get what you are wanting. Others will be able to see how this project/product/goal/vision will be and how it will benefit the company or customers or employees. Being able to share the concept so others can see it clearly is incredibly beneficial.
There is nothing wrong with having facts and figures to help make your point. Something to keep in mind is that while many people like to see graphs and numbers to help make a decision, connecting with people emotionally will help you be more influential. Most people like to feel a bond with others. It’s what makes us feel like we want to help others out. This isn’t to say you have to be best buddies with everyone in the office. What it is referring to is that the ability to connect on an emotional level with others will help you gain their support in your quests at the office.
Build Your Credibility
Think about the last time you chose to listen to speaker. Maybe it was a motivational speaker or you signed up for a “how to make money flipping houses” type seminar. Probably one of the main reasons why you chose to invest your time attending the speech or seminar was because you believed the speaker to be very knowledgeable in whatever area they were talking about. The same concept holds true in the workplace. Your fellow coworkers are much more likely to be influenced by you if you are seen as an expert in your area. With that in mind make sure you are constantly working to improve your knowledge and get better and better. By showing others that you are an expert in a certain area, you will be building your credibility which will help you influence when needed.
Know Office Politics
Office politics are nearly everywhere. That doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing. The key thing to know is how things really work in your office or company. Sometimes the person who’s title puts them at the top of the food chain isn’t really in charge. Many times it’s of higher value from an influencing standpoint if you know all the executive assistants well. Or something I have found is that the IT folks are great to know. They typically have the inside scoop on what’s going on with different folks because of some of the access to information they have. Knowing who is headed up and who is headed out can be great knowledge to help you when it’s time to be influential.
Work Hard and Be Consistent
Being a consistent hard worker and performer will gain you respect which in turn will help you be influential at work. I want to make something clear. When I say work hard I don’t want you to assume I mean work 12 hour days everyday. You can spend a lot of time working on low level tasks that nobody really cares about. If there is an automated or easier way to do less impactful tasks, then by all means do that. That’s called working smarter. What I am referring to is putting in consistent, quality effort and work. When I was in retail I worked for a manager that rarely was in his office and was always helping out where needed. I also worked for a manager who never left his office and rarely interacted with the employees. Guess who I respected more?
Help Others Succeed
Helping others succeed is a surefire way to gain respect and will help you be influential at work. When you take the time to help others succeed it sure makes a huge difference to that person. When I moved into the corporate world a little over 10 years ago I had a lot to learn. There are 2 people in particular who were always there for me. They answered my questions, pointed me in the right direction, and helped out when needed. One of them turned out to be the best mentor I ever had. The other is someone that I still stay in contact with and earned my respect long ago. When that person needs my help with something, you can bet I am there. Both of those people earned my respect because they were there for me and my success was important to them. When they were in their influencing mode you know I was in their corner, doing what I could to help them get what they needed.
We’ve taken a look at how to be influential and gain respect at work. The ability to be influential and to have respect at work go hand in hand. You have to have gained some measure of respect at work to be influential. And the ability to be influential at work will help you gain respect as well. The reason being is in both cases you are viewed as someone who can get things done.
Being influential and gaining respect at work helps you in many ways. It will help you in your own personal development and career path. It will also help you to achieve success on big projects or in other company goals. If you’d like to increase your ability to be influential at work take a look at what we’ve covered here and see if you can put some of them into action.
Your company and yourself will thank you.