Influencing: How to Be Taken Seriously

Sections of this topic

    powerful influencing skillsDo you have great ideas but can’t seem to get people to listen?

    A recent email from a frustrated manager who, like many of us, has great ideas but finds it difficult getting them accepted and implemented. Perhaps a boss is too busy putting out fires to pay attention. Or, in the give and take of a meeting, your suggestions get lost.

    In her years of writing about successful leaders, Rosabeth Moss Kanter of Harvard Business School, states that “getting ideas off the ground requires personal credibility and power.” Here’s what she advises.

    Four Influencing Strategies:

    1. Showing up: The power of presence.
    It’s a cliché but true that 90% of success in life comes from just showing up. Digital and other remote communications are efficient, but there’s much to be said for being there – face-to-face with others.

    2. Speaking up: The power of voice.
    It’s more than making noise. It’s being articulate, putting your ideas into words that get people to listen and see you as a leader. If you’re uncomfortable with public speaking, get a coach, take lessons, join Toastmasters and then stand up and do it.

    3. Teaming up: the power of partnering.
    As you move into leadership, you technical or business skills aren’t enough. Success, at this stage of your career, depends more on building good relationships inside and outside your organization. So start “playing with others”.

    4. Not giving up: the power of persistence.
    Everything can look like a failure in the middle. Keep at it, make mid-course adjustments and surprise the naysayers. All successful people have dealt with self-doubt, but they keep on going. So can you.

    Career Success Tip

    There have been excellent big ideas which couldn’t get off the ground because they lacked proper uplift and effort. On the flip side, really good small ideas have revolutionized our lives. What’s the difference? Perhaps it’s these four influencing strategies. What do you think?

    Do you want to develop Career Smarts?