“Leadership is action, not position.” – Donald H. McGannon
Contrary to popular belief, leadership is not about the role we hold in an organization; rather it is about the actions we choose to take day in, and day out. Those actions correlate to our ability to influence others, which is at the core of all leadership skills. At Transcend, we define leadership as having the ability to inspire and motivate yourself and others to take positive action towards a goal.
To influence is to have an impact on the behaviors, attitudes, opinions and choices of others. Influence is not to be confused with power or control. It’s not about manipulating others to get your way. It is how a leader inspires and motivates.
INFLUENCE: THE PRIMARY TOOL FOR SUCCESSFUL LEADERSHIP
Since you can truly only control yourself (your attitude, your emotions, and your behaviors), in order to get others to act, you must have the ability to influence them. Developing your influencing skills, will increase your ability to get results from your team and your organization.
The way in which we interact with other people has a direct impact on our influence on them. At no time do we have control over the outcome or response of others, but we can increase our influence by approaching each situation we come across from a more positive perspective and encouraging them to have a more positive mindset toward the work to be done. Your influence is greater when you are able to give people a sense of direction, a feeling of purpose and connection, and optimism about the eventual outcome.
As you get better at influencing others, you increase you own effectiveness and impact, growing your circle of influence.
- You Control: Your thoughts, your feelings, your actions.
- Your Circle of Influence: People and situations close to you where you may sway others or influence outcomes.
- Your Circle of Concern: The range of things that you are interested in, that have an impact on your life. Includes both things you do not control, and things you may not even influence (like the weather).
KEY WAYS TO BUILD YOUR INFLUENCE
- Understand your impact on others: Notice how other people feel when you are around (i.e.; people’s body language when you walk in the room, when you are in meetings with them, etc.)
- Be curious: Ask open-ended questions, seek to learn, seek to understand others’ perspectives.
- Create a positive emotional experience: imagine how you need people to feel and what you need to do to encourage them to feel that.
Influencing skills grow with practice and conscious awareness of your results and impact on others.
What are 3 actions you can take to build your influence in the coming week?