We don’t live or work in a vacuum. At some point, we will have to depend on others for what we need. How will you get others on board your team? Influence is the ability to convey your ideas effectively to others. It is about negotiation, not manipulation. Here are four steps that lead to effectively influencing others on your team.

The Bait and Switch

What is the real concern when it comes to influence? Most people are afraid that they will be “had” or “bamboozled”. To them, influencers are like magicians who work their spells and hold our gaze to get us to do what they want whether we want to or not. The art of influence is not mean to be a crime perpetrated by a charlatan. It is the combination of a passion for your ideas and empathy for others. When those two combine, the result is win-win scenarios for both sides.

As an influential individual, your position is one that commands trust. That power is great in the right hands but can be devastating when used unwisely. With that said, let’s look at the four steps that govern effectively influencing your team through communication.

Four Steps to Using your Influence Effectively with your Team

As a leader, your level of influence will increase as you hone your skills concerning these four steps.

  1. Clarify the purpose and benefits of your idea or plan – Before you get up and speak about your proposal, be sure that you understand it yourself. Ask the same questions that another would ask of you. Fully scrutinize from every angle possible. Fully develop your plan to speak from a position of strength not weakness. And, gauge your passion. Without passion for your idea, you have very little hope of swaying others to your side.
  2. Use reflective listening techniques – This is more than just parroting back to someone what they have said to you. It involves putting the concerns of others into your own words and asking them if you have gotten the gist of their issue. It shows that you are paying attention and brings support and trust.
  3. Respond to concerns in a respectful manner – There is no need to get people’s backs up. You are never going to find that everyone agrees with your proposals without dissent. Instead find ways to address the concerns as legitimate without attacking the speaker.
  4. Negotiate a collaborative agreement – The idea is to have the idea adopted as a benefit for all. Find creative ways to turn any opposition into a win-win for both parties.


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