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How Can Managers Be More Influential?

How could we get managers to influence employees?

— Not Influential Enough, director of human resources, manufacturing, Kerala, India

March 10, 2014
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Related Topics: Talent Management(2), Performance Management, Employee Engagement, Employee Communication, Organizational Culture, The Latest, Dear Workforce
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Dear Not Influential Enough:

Trust is gained through integrity. The people who work for us are constantly looking at us and trying to determine whether we really believe and live by the things that we teach. For example, do we have a hard time getting people to work on time, even though we have repeatedly asked them to be there? Perhaps it is because the leader isn’t on time. This would be a lack of integrity on the leader’s part. Live what you teach and you will have more influence.

Action Point: Spend some mental energy this week checking to make sure that your actions match your beliefs and your words.

Respect is gained through excellence. Think about the people you respect most. They are people of excellence, right? And if we ever need advice from someone, these are the people we seek out. If you want financial advice you go to the rich person, not the poor person. When your employees view you as person committed to excellence, you likely will gain influence.

Action Point: Take a look at every area of your life and rate them on a scale from 1 to 10. For areas in which rate a 6 or lower, write down some goals and actions you can take to improve in those areas.

Loyalty is gained through service. The boss may have position and power, but the most influential leaders are the ones who serve the people whom they direct. They consider their employees’ interests as more important than their own. When the people we lead see that we look out for our interests, they will allow themselves to be influenced.

Action Point: Make it your goal to serve at least three people a day in any way.

Admiration is gained through a positive, optimistic attitude. When we lead with optimism and brighten every room we walk into, other people see us in a different light. They like us, and being liked is a key to being influential. It is the job of the leader to see every situation in its best light. It doesn’t mean that we don’t realize there are problems or address those problems, but it does mean that we lead by seeing what a positive future can bring. When we are optimistic, we gain influence with others.

Action Point: Improve how you talk. Make sure that you speak in a positive way at all times and remove negative language from your speaking.

SOURCE: Chris Widener, author, “The Art of Influence,” Issaquah, Washington, Jan. 16, 2014.

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