Influence is a quality that few people factor in when looking at successful businesses and their respective CEOs/managers. But by building yourself up to be an influential person in the workplace, you can manage your manpower and resources more effectively and encourage people behind you to work harder towards the same collective goal.
So, how do you influence employees without coming off as overbearing? Here are five tips on how to influence your employees the right way:
Don’t Lose It
Maintaining your composure, especially in high-stress situations, is an important quality in an influential leader. Everyday business scenarios can induce fight or flight responses in any average Joe or Jane. From demanding customers to investors hovering around your every move to employees trying to launch a union behind your back, the everyday life of a business manager/leader is full of ups and downs.
But amidst it all, you have to be consistently relaxed when handling it. When the head honcho panics, the rest of the people also start panicking. Real leaders respond to emotionally-charged scenarios with a clear mind and a calm demeanor.
Exuding confidence is another simple way to influence your employees. Regardless of how risky a plan is, a true leader remains confident of his/her decisions and the people he/she delegates tasks to. If you second-guess everything, your employees will also second-guess your ability to manage them and run the company.
When you exude confidence in your or an employee’s decisions, it influences others to trust in their leader, coworkers, and more importantly themselves, which leads to better performance and bolder and more innovative actions.
Influencing employees isn’t just about saying encouraging stuff that could boost morale. Rally the troops by giving them the training and support they need. Enroll your salespeople in a sales negotiation training program or have your tech people attend seminars and talks about rising platforms, such as Amazon Web Services, on your dime. Training is key to the continuous growth of your workforce.
Reward Good Deeds
Incentivizing is one of the oldest tricks in the book. But blindly adopting it in the workplace can lead to side effects, such as people only doing the bare minimum unless they are rewarded on a regular basis. While it could boost sales and profits in the short-term, it’s not a sustainable business model over time. Instead, incentivize your employees in creative and thoughtful ways, such as rewarding employees who refer talented and experienced people into the company.
Avoid resorting to cash rewards and instead do a company-wide survey on what your employees would like to receive as a reward for their noteworthy accomplishments and performance. Some creative rewards include office massages, healthy snacks, sporting event tickets, and additional vacation time.
Show a Strong Work Ethic
Employees follow leaders who have a strong work ethic. If you arrive to work late and is the first one out the door when the clock hits 5 PM, then your employees will either consciously or subconsciously follow that same routine. On the other hand, if you log 60 hours a week at work and show immense passion and focus on the tasks at hand, you also encourage your employees to do better.
Aside from working longer and harder than everybody else, you should also try to cultivate a positive executive image within the workplace. Show up to work every day in your best corporate outfit and be well-groomed.
Influential leaders, like Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, aren’t born overnight. They are average Joes and Janes refined by the countless challenges they face over time. Use the five tips above to start building yourself up into an influential leader who commands the respect, trust, and support of his/her workforce.
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