Blog: Influence: The most underrated leadership skill


Influence: The most underrated leadership skill

Being able to Influence is no longer just a leadership competency but a much-needed skill for every leader.
Influence: The most underrated leadership skill

Over a decade of being a part of the industry and interacting with various management teams, I have seen large organizations invest heavily in workshops on management concept, performance management, project management and developing your leadership skills using some very technical methods.

Being able to Influence is no longer just a leadership competency but a much-needed skill for every leader. Communication is given a lot of importance, I personally believe, just being an excellent orator or good at drafting emails will not get you there, how you use your influencing skills while communicating will create all the difference.

Leaders today are moving out of their comfort zone and adapting to newer ways of dealing with their teams. Few helpful secrets that I go by when trying to influence professionals and teams around me. These would be very helpful for as I like to call them - ETLs (Engineers turned leaders) and young managers –

  • Be more Assertive – We all meet experts in technology almost every day and innovation are the focus for everyone, however, these experts fail to share their stories and ideas with ease. Being assertive is to be able to show empathy yet put your point across in an influential way
  • Impress and be Persuasive - Ensure you are clear with your idea. Use available possible tools like a couple of slides, Images, graphs with rationale so others are convinced with your point of view.
  • What’s in it for them – Always share the value your idea will add to the project, process or point of discussion. Bridge the gap to reach the outcome that would help cater greater interest than your personal.
  • Walk that extra mile – Walk those extra few steps to nurture, build relationships. Genuinely connect with others through empathetic listening and understanding.
  • Inspire - Always start by sharing the BIG PICTURE, make a positive change using the role you play. Encourage others with all the exciting possibilities and way forward for them.
  • Trust - One of my favourite learnings from the "Speed of Trust" by Stephen M. R. Covey book, TRUST IS INEVITABLE. To help create and maintain the Influence, people around should be able to Trust you.

Now that it seems easy to be able to Influence your surroundings, do not mistake being able to influence as being able to control. In the end, simple steps to take your leadership skills to the next level - 

  • Smile
  • Become genuinely interested in other people
  • Remember and use people’s names
  • Be a good listener and encourage others to talk about themselves
  • Talk in terms of the other person’s interest

At the end of the day people won't remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel. Learning is a continuous process and always great to exchange feedback. 

*Views are personal

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Topics: Leadership, #GuestArticle

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