What Is Influence?
Ok, maybe that’s harsh, but it’s pretty much spot on. You see, influence is defined as:
The capacity or power of persons or things to be a compelling force on or produce effects on the actions,behavior, opinions, etc., of others.
The key word in that definition is compelling. Which means to have irresistible qualities. Therefore, in order to influence someone you have to do it in a way that is not resisted. Thus, no influence = dictating.
How do you do that? Very simple. The only way for you to effectively influence someone is in your communication. In other words, your first step as a leader is to understand how communication motivates a person to specific actions.
For me, the most important part of communication is personality styles. It’s not enough for me as a leader, parent, or just a person to think instructing another person on a task, chore, or whatever, is enough to actually cause the person to execute on it with greatness.
How they receive that information is way more important than how you deliver it. So merely telling them isn’t enough. You have to understand that if they are a high detail person, then delivering a portion of the information isn’t enough. Your “influence” will now cause that person to fail.
Instead, focus your leadership on your communication skills by understanding each of your team members personality styles.
- Dominant – Gives and receives information in sounds bites. Has a tendency to miss out on details and is highly likely to hurt feelings in the process. Has a short window of focus until they move on to the next exciting and shiny object. Excellent at getting things done. Always has a desire to be in leadership.
- Interactive – Is really focused on people, so they tend to be more focused on conversation and what is going on with you…or them. Needs to have a moment of personal conversation before discussing tasks. Has a tendency to miss details and rarely takes notes. Great at motivating others.
- Stable – Very concerned about all people around them. Very diplomatic in their process and hard to motivate with change. Confrontation is scarier than snakes and tofu. Usually needs to completely understand the need for the project, as well as if will effect anyone negatively. Extremely loyal and great at looking out for others.
- Compliant – Favorite things are Excel spread sheets and Google. Mainly because you can learn how to build a rocket in Google, and literally build it in Excel. Must, must, MUST have all the details. Also needs to be allowed to ask questions and share that they don’t completely understand the project. Incredibly precise and accurate when executing.
These are just the absolute tip of understanding communication with others. The next step is to focus your leadership on active listening. You have two ears and one mouth. Use the percentages accordingly.
Question: How have you discovered your communication, or lack there of, affecting your leadership?