The Influential Leader: How to Develop and Harness Powerful Influencing Skills

People following an influential leader

"There is only one way to get anybody to do anything. And that is by making the other person want to do it."  Brian Tracy

Brian Tracy's wisdom rings true in the world of leadership and influence. In the contemporary landscape, many leaders struggle to align their teams with the organisation's vision. Often, team members show up at work merely to complete their assigned tasks and follow the rules, yet their hearts are not genuinely invested in the bigger picture. 

But can we really blame them? True engagement requires a deep passion for the work, and to ignite that passion in others, leaders must master the art of influence.  

Developing Powerful Influencing Skills is the key.

So, what exactly are Powerful Influencing Skills? 

These skills empower you to shape business outcomes by inspiring behavioural change in others. They allow you to affect individuals' character, behaviour, and development. In leadership, this skill is paramount to fulfilling your aspirations for both your career and your organisation. The difference between thriving and merely surviving organisations lies in their leaders' ability to influence. 

The power of influence isn't confined to a C-suite excutive or a CEO; it's a skill set that anyone can cultivate. It's about forging connections, effectively conveying your vision, and enticing others to embrace it. With this skill, you can influence your team and potential customers to invest in your products or services. In your personal life, these skills enable you to persuade and collaborate with friends, family, your spouse, and even children instead of resorting to command and control tactics.  

People with Powerful Influencing Skills: 

- Excel at winning people over. 

- Tailor their presentations to appeal to their audience. 

- Employ complex strategies, such as indirect influence, to garner consensus and support. 

- Are adept storytellers who captivate others' attention and leave them craving more. 

- Creatively orchestrate events to drive home their points. 

- Successfully persuade, convince, or inspire others to support their objectives. 

However, it's crucial to understand what Powerful Influencing Skills are not. They aren't about manipulating people into doing your bidding. It's not about total control or running your team like a military operation. True leadership is about connection, transformation, and inspiration, not dictatorship. 

Leaders who rely on command and control often do so out of a lack of understanding or a shortage of strategies to engage their teams effectively. Yet, this approach can lead to reduced trust, collaboration, feedback, and course correction. Control may feel good to the one wielding it, but it rarely feels good to be under its sway. 

How do you know if you lack this competence? 

You lack this competence if you:  

- Work independently and sometimes against the group or individuals. 

- Fail to make a positive or memorable impression. 

- Are ineffective in persuading or convincing others about a common vision and direction. 

- Are not able to engage with your audience and might even alienate them. 

- Struggle to defend your ideas when challenged. 

- Fail to inspire confidence or earn respect. 

- Come across as opinionated and uninteresting.

Becoming an Influential Leader 

To become an influential leader, you can follow these steps. Each step plays a pivotal role in honing your ability to effectively influence others: 

Identify Opportunities to Influence: Start by recognising situations where your influence can make a difference. These are pivotal moments when your guidance and persuasion can significantly impact the outcome. To sharpen your skills, engage in discussions with individuals who excel in this area. Learn from their experiences, strategies, and tactics. 

Build Strong Rapport: Developing meaningful connections with others is key. When people feel a genuine connection with you, they become more receptive to your communication. Effective rapport-building involves active listening, empathy, and showing a sincere interest in others. It lays the foundation for trust and openness, making your message more likely to resonate. 

Master Communication: Communication is at the core of influence. Master the art of assertiveness, offer well-crafted suggestions, and pose thought-provoking questions. Effective communication ensures that your messages are clear, concise, and impactful. It's a skill set that allows you to convey your ideas with confidence and clarity. 

Try to Understand Others: To truly influence someone, you need to understand what motivates them. People are more likely to act on your proposals when you align your message with their core motivations and values. Tailor your communication to address their needs and desires, making your influence more compelling and relatable. 

Set Clear Objectives: Defining the specific goals of your influence is crucial. What do you aim to achieve, and how will your influence help you get there? Clearly stating your objectives and planning your messages in advance ensures your communication remains on target. 

Craft Engaging Messages: Framing your messages effectively is essential. You want your communication to resonate with your audience, ensuring they can relate to and understand your message. Craft your words to engage, motivate, and inspire, making your influence more persuasive. 

Prepare for Objections: It's essential to anticipate potential objections and develop strategies to address them effectively. Knowing how to respond to concerns or doubts demonstrates your competence and increases your chances of swaying others to your perspective. 

Leverage Evidence: Supporting your case with data, statistics, and endorsements from respected authorities adds credibility to your influence. People are more likely to act when presented with evidence that bolsters their argument. Data-driven arguments can be compelling and persuasive. 

Make Your Thinking Transparent: Being open and transparent about the reasoning behind your proposals is crucial. When people understand why you're advocating for a particular course of action, they are more likely to trust and support your ideas. Transparency ensures clarity, honesty, and integrity in your influence. 

By following these steps, you'll not only become a more influential leader but also someone who can guide and inspire others to align with your vision and goals.

Powerful Influencing Skills: A must-have for every Leader 

Powerful Influencing Skills are a valuable asset for any leader. They are the driving force that distinguishes a leader from a mere figurehead. With these skills, a leader can steer their team toward a shared goal. 

In the realm of influence, everyone starts at zero, and practice is the path to mastery. So, the more you hone your skills, the more adept you become at inspiring others to act in harmony with your vision.

We are here to help 

At  People Builders, we have a team of expert trainers and coaches who will help you and your team develop Social and Emotional Intelligence, Power Influencing Skills , and many other competencies.       

Contact us today for a quick chat to see how we can partner with you to train and coach you and your team. If you want to become a certified trainer and coach in Social and Emotional Intelligence or Extended DISC Behavioural Profiling, find out how by visiting the People Builders Institute website. 





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