Your communication: Long-windedness can make people â€˜shut offâ€™. Cut to the chase; if itâ€™s a question you are asking, ask; donâ€™t do a speech before it. If what youâ€™ve got to say is complex, try and summarise it in your mind before speaking. People are more likely to listen to you or pay attention if they know youâ€™ll get to the point.
Your behaviour: The good example you set can earn you not only influence but also a lot of respect. If you are a senior person, exemplary behaviour comes with the territory. Act in the interest of the greater good. Care about things other than those that affect or benefit you directly. Demonstrate objectivity, especially when itâ€™s most difficult so that people can feel assured that you can operate for the good of others.
The quality of your work: This has a power of its own because it is available for all to see and is an independent assessment of you. Take pride in what you do and do not approach it as a mere transaction between you and your employer. The quality of your work speaks volumes about your personal standards, your sense of responsibility and leadership as well as your commitment to self-accountability and stewardship. So, donâ€™t do only what you feel your salary â€˜buysâ€™ from you but how what you do more now to further your professional life.
Othersâ€™ perceptions of you. Perceptions may not be based on fact but unfortunately, people act on their perceptions and there is not much you can do about it. You can, however, avoid blatantly unhelpful or irresponsible behaviour that will generate negative views of you which can be costly. When perceptions of you are positive, they can earn you influence and opportunities in a way that facts sometimes canâ€™t. Have a sense of how you are perceived so that you work on improving any negative views.
Now take action: What can you do to increase your influence?