Three Easy Steps to Positively Influence Others
Are you a leader, a coworker, a spouse, a parent, a son or daughter, a sister or brother, or a friend? If yes, you have an opportunity every day to influence others. In fact, if you connect with others in any way, you are someone who influences.
As leaders, influence doesn’t come to us instantaneously. It is something we have to work build and grow intentionally. Everyone of us has influence, but our influence is different with different people. We can influence others positively or negatively, the choice is ours.
What is important to recognize is that how we influence impacts our results. If you influence others through manipulation, over time you will lose trust. If you influence others through skilled collaboration, you will gain trust and respect. Even if we had a negative impact on someone in the past, we can seek ways to add value and be a more positive influence in their lives.
The question you need to ask yourself, is not “Am I an influencer?” but rather, “Do I influence others positively or negatively?”
People who positively influence others recognize that influence is not about getting others to see or do things your way or passively hoping they will go along with your great idea. Rather, they focus on building collaborative win-win relationships.
Instead of looking for diligent followers, positive influencers work to build influence partners. They aim to listen and understand others, then they seek ways to add value to them. In return, these influence partners add value back.
If you want to increase your ability to build influence partners, try sprinkling a little TLC around.
Here are three easy steps to help you do just that.
T – Invite the other person to TELL you their viewpoint and share their hopes, dreams, needs, wants, and challenges. Let them go first.
L – LISTEN intently for the sole purpose of understanding what they are saying. Get curious as to why they see things the way they do. Ask open-ended questions to generate further understanding.
C – CLARIFY what you heard them say. Summarize their points to ensure you understood their perspective clearly. Your aim is to avoid misinterpretations or assumptions and ensure you understand their perspective. At this stage, the goal is not necessarily to gain agreement.
Once you have learned their perspective, they will be more willing to listen to yours. Once you have a more holistic and objective perspective, you can both work to build win-win outcomes.
Although these steps work well in any conversation, their merits really shine in difficult situations. It is a process that can easily diffuse a conflict or help you regain trust and respect from others. I have applied these steps time and time again in various conversations with highly favourable results.
The biggest challenge with this approach is to get yourself out of the way!
As human beings we are keenly interested in ourselves – in protecting our own needs and interests. Turn this around and become keenly interested in others, and you’ll gain an influence partner, not just a follower. As you understand people’s needs and help them get these needs met, they will want to do the same for you. It all starts with a little TLC. Test it out and let me know how it impacts your influence.
Lisa Holden Rovers is the Founder of Workplace Matters, where she specializes in helping business leaders and career professionals lead with influence and build stronger, more cohesive teams. Curious how Lisa can support you or your organization? Contact her for a complimentary discovery session to discuss your unique situation and needs.