If there’s one thing we can learn from Michael Scott, the naively ignorant manager from The Office, it’s how to positively influence people.
The man has his flaws, but he never fails to cheer us up with his positive, albeit misguided, words. No matter the situation, he always has tricks up his sleeve and a relentless spirit to turn things around.
His words, “I knew exactly what to do, but in a much more real sense, I had no idea what to do”, show how far from ideal he is and yet, many people find solace in what he represents as an anti-hero.
Positively influencing people in the workplace isn’t always about being an expert and sharing knowledge. It’s about how comfortable, motivated and at ease, others feel in your company.
How To Influence People At Work
Becoming a person of influence at work is helpful for team-building and effective problem-solving. If your coworkers trust you and rely on you, you’re likely to work well with them to achieve organizational goals.
No one wants to work in an organization where they feel underappreciated or overlooked. Paying attention to people, listening well and being empathetic are the hallmarks of creating a cohesive unit.
Let’s see how you can influence people positively in the workplace:
Be True To Yourself
If you say one thing and do another, people will find it hard to trust you. Being true to yourself means that you should stand by your words. If, for instance, you tell people that you’re someone who appreciates punctuality, you can’t walk in an hour late to work. Upholding your own values and beliefs shows people that you’re someone trustworthy. Building trust is the first step to influence people positively. Authenticity is always appreciated and respected—within and beyond the workplace.
There’s plenty of discussion around hearing vs listening. The former is where you’re hardly registering the speaker’s words while the latter is where you’re giving your undivided attention to them. Listening well is an underestimated skill in the workplace. Most people feel ignored because there’s no one who’d listen to them. We’re so busy in our own lives, we don’t take the time to check up on others. If you can be that person who listens to others, you’re sure to influence positively at work.
Understanding how to influence others isn’t about mind control or telekinesis. It’s about leaving a lasting impression on people, creating a safe space for them to be themselves and generally lifting them up. Being compassionate or understanding will help you influence people positively. They’ll be comfortable reaching out to you when facing problems or when they just need someone to talk to.
Praise Your Coworkers For Their Work
If you’ve ever noticed people’s reactions when they receive compliments, you’ll know how surprised and taken aback they are. Many people aren’t used to receiving praise so they find it hard to believe! Make it a practice to praise your coworkers whenever you get a chance. Be it for their communication skills, spreadsheets or something they worked on. Praise can go a long way in the workplace and if you want to influence positively, what’s better than making others feel good about themselves.
Communication is—surprisingly—the easiest way to influence people. All you need to do is make time for others. Maintaining open channels of communication will help them reach out to you willingly. Even if it’s written communication like emails, it can streamline processes, making it easier to connect with each other. Getting things done without a delay will maintain decorum in the workplace, making sure that everyone’s on the same page.
Focus On Gains, Not Losses
Rather than focusing on the losses, try to appreciate the wins—however big or small. It’ll boost morale and help people recognize their capabilities. If they keep working on things that went wrong, they’ll never know what they’re good at. This isn’t to say that you should ignore mistakes, but pay equal attention to great work.
Influencing people in an ethical way can help you strengthen your professional relationships. Attributes like how you present yourself, your words and actions will help people relate to you. You can do this by using Harappa’s TEA (Trust-Emotional Intelligence-Authenticity) framework. The Building Presence course teaches you how to be persuasive and communicate compellingly with people. Stand out from others and influence people positively to build healthy and constructive relationships.
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