I’m leading a workshop tomorrow on “Influencing Up”.
In preparation for the workshop I read The Art of People, by Dave Kerpen.
It’s an excellent read on some powerful key, simple insights to help us make better connections with one another.
As a Coach, my job is to observe and understand my clients, not through just what they say, but what they do (or don’t do).
As a result, I’ve concluded that there are four primary elements related to influencing others:
Here’s a brief summary of each:
How we communicate matters. It matters in email, text, verbally and through our body language.
If you are brief in how you write, you leave room for assumptions.
If you don’t respond to people, you leave for assumption.
If you talk without listening, you leave room for assumption.
If you don’t say ‘hello’ and ‘thank you’ and ‘you’re welcome’ and ‘I’m sorry’ you leave room for assumption.
These are just a few things to consider. We communicate with others all day. Is HOW you do (or don’t) communicate, impacting your influence?
Kerpen writes that most people are lonely.
If we know that most people are lonely, how well do we invite people IN?
Do we stimulate inclusive environments? Even with those we report to?
Do we listen to and acknowledge one another?
Do we ignore people simply because we’re too busy?
When we don’t manage our thinking, we can come across as curt, short, impatient or dismissive. These behaviors can immediately impact connection.
Connection is vital for influence.
I have to believe that we share a connection to even want to invest in our relationship.
Partnership is how well you see yourself sitting side-by-side someone, rather than across the desk from them.
It’s noticing how you are alike, rather than different.
It’s your tolerance for errors and mistakes, knowing that it could just as easily be you who makes the mistake next time.
Asking ourselves if we see people we work with as on the same team or as adversaries.
When we involve others as partners, we create an environment of safety and understanding. As a result, we invite more influence.
We are all impacting relationships all the time.
The challenge is that most of us only notice what other people do and how we believe their behavior drives our response. But the truth is, we manage our own response through our own self-awareness.
How much time do you spend looking at your own interactions, rather than dissecting the behaviors of others?
How much investment do you make in noticing how you show up in the world and whether or not it accurately reflects how you want others to perceive you?
We can’t ever arrive at total self-awareness, but having a practice that encourages us to pay attention to ourselves, as well as others, greatly impacts our ability to have conscious influence in our relationships.
As leaders, our ability to influence up, down and sideways speaks a lot to our overall success (and I believe happiness).
I hope I’ve given you a few things to think about as it relates to your own work and some ideas to share back with your team mates.
As always, I’d love to know your thoughts!