Influence is the ability to lift people up to our perspectives. The word influence is very often used synonymously with authority. While it is true that authority gives one the power to influence, it is not always true that one would be successful in influencing. So, for those who are of the opinion that influence goes hand in hand with authority, it is a fact that that one can influence even without any authority. Let us take the example of Mahatma Gandhiji who without having any authority had the ability to influence large masses of people to sacrifice their lives for the freedom of Nation. The key to successful leadership today is not authority but influence
So, if one is in pursuit of honing his leadership qualities, here are the 5 ways to become successful influencers:
Look at yourself in the mirror. One needs to answer some basic questions to himself before choosing to influence somebody else. The most important basic question that needs to be answered is to have clarity on the objective behind influencing somebody. It is of paramount importance to also analyse one’s own strengths and areas of improvement. Being aware of one’s own thoughts, feelings and approaches is the fundamental step to become powerful at influencing.
Credibility comes from acting in others’ interests before your own. Credibility takes ages to be built and just a few minutes to be destroyed. Trust is based purely on credibility. When people realize that you are selfless in your approach while dealing with others, you are in the process of building your credibility with them. Is it always possible to think about other’s welfare at the cost of yours? Is it fair? Not really, one can always strive towards building a win-win situation for all the parties to be benefited in any transaction.
You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them. As the common quote reads, “Intelligent Quotient helps you get hired whereas Emotional Quotient helps you get promoted”. Having a high EQ score benefits in you not only understand your own feelings and shortcomings but also in being empathetic towards others. Empathy can help one resolve to misunderstand and win trust.
Everyone is different. GOD has created each one of us differently. People may still look alike but their behavioural patterns can never be exactly the same. It is critical to respect and understand these differences in people to be able to influence them effectively. This is an attribute that needs to be inculcated in you. This can be done by observing the behaviour patterns in people as is without judging them. Through observations, you get to understand the way people react, express and connect with others. You may also be able to arrive at their apprehensions, fears and shortcomings. This would give you strategies to deal with them and win over their trust. There cannot be a two-by-two matrix to arrive at the strategies to influence different people. One needs to be empathetic and creative in working out strategies that can make a difference.
People are excellent in providing advice. They love doing it. However, the question one needs to ask himself is whether you practise what you preach? A man who doesn’t practise whatever he preaches instantaneously starts losing respect. Being a role model is the most powerful way of educating and winning the hearts of people. By showing people where to look without telling what to see, one is already playing the role-model.
The art of influencing is an ongoing process until it becomes a character trait of one’s own personality. Building a personality as a great influencer is extremely beneficial to you and the organization that you represent. Great influencers make the inspirational leaders of tomorrow. So wish you success in your endeavour to become a true Leader. The true measure of leadership is to influence nothing more, nothing less.
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