Leadership, like influence, is an endless process of self-development; it doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Effective leaders use a range of overlapping influence tactics to encourage, optimise, and engage their teams in a positive culture. How do you rebuild when that influence breaks down?
If you’ve been struggling with your influence lately, here are five tips to help you improve it.
1. Lean into Authenticity
Authenticity humanises us. It unlocks the courage to be vulnerable, a vital part of the leadership puzzle that strengthens the bonds of trust between team members. To express an authentic vulnerability demonstrates self-awareness, transparency, and a willingness to engage on an interpersonal level, away from a featureless corporate façade.
2. Give Trust
Put the handrails in place, but trust your employees with the freedom and responsibility they need to thrive, and that includes the freedom to make mistakes. One measure of a good leader is what the team gets up to when they’re not around – if you haven’t managed to give your trust, it’s difficult to demand it in return. Embodying the values you expect your team to represent can bridge the trust gap, turning compliance into behavioural change.
3. Elevate Others
Leaders aren’t abstract figures in unattainable positions, and the best leaders make sure their team knows it. A leader should aim to inspire new leaders. When you elevate your team, you elevate yourself – it’s a perpetual cycle of positivity, the chain reaction that helps your environment (and your business) flourish.
4. Understand the Individual
How well do you know your team? Everyone has their own unique ways of working, and it’s difficult to establish any kind of meaningful influence if you don’t know what they are. A deeper understanding of your individual team members enables you to tailor your leadership to their needs. When you’re trying to get people on board with your ideas, it helps if you present in a way that resonates with their personal value systems.
5. The Power of Self Awareness
Building up self-awareness starts with active listening. While leaders have legitimate power inside an organisation, pressuring people with that power is not the same as having influence, and it will hurt morale in the long run. Are you aware of how your decisions (and the method in which you're making those decisions) are impacting your team. Keeping yourself open to feedback is the best way to go.
Stop Trying to Influence
It sounds counterintuitive, but It’s better to arrive at influence, the by-product of good leadership, than to prioritise your position as an influencer in the first place.
Do you need some support with your leadership? Our consulting division is equipped to unlock your people’s potential. Reach out to Abi Chamberlain, Director at Trinnovo Consulting to find out more: firstname.lastname@example.org