7 Steps to building an Influential Personality
There was once a corporate professional named Rajesh, he worked as a mid-manager in a Multi-National firm.
He’d been working in his current organization for about 5 years now; however, his growth seemed to have slowed down tremendously since he took up a managerial role a few years ago.
His role requires him
to be able to drive cross functional projects and work with managers who are often more experienced than him
And his key challenge is that
he is unable to get the support and collaboration from the other managers and due to that often gets delayed in delivering his projects.
During Cross-Functional meetings or meetings with his manager or higher management, he puts forward suggestions and ideas for growth and process improvements; however, his views are often ignored or overruled; In fact many of these discussions lead to conflict and blame game.
While Rajesh is an intelligent person with relevant experience, he would often wonder what he can do differently to have a more positive impact in his job & career.
In todays business or social scenario, it is becoming more and more important to be able to convince people.
However, there are many people like Rajesh who are unable to effectively Influence or convince people around them. "
With flatter organization structures that have moved from traditional vertical work models to being more cross functional and project driven, where you often have to work with and get things done from people you have no direct authority over.
Today, hierarchy, seniority and age are no longer viewed in the same way they once were; you can no longer use these as a basis to get people to work or agree on something.
Community living and social groups are becoming an important part of what we are involved in outside of work. From various sporting or adventure groups, society groups to volunteer groups working towards a common good.
In all these cases collaborating and being a valuable contributor requires you to be able to effectively influence and convince people.
In this article I am going to share the 7 key things that Rajesh and others can do to develop an Influential Personality.
Developing an Influential Personality is the first step to being able to Influence any group of people.
In subsequent articles I will also share the Skills required, but right now we will focus on the first step and that is
Developing an Influential Personality.
So, What is it that makes a personality Influential?
Well through research over the last 10 years in social and professional environments I have narrowed it down to
6Cs & V
The first and most important one is Credibility
Credibility is defined as the quality of being trustworthy and believable.
A persons credibility is built through the way he fulfils his commitments and promises to people.
Do you always fulfil your commitments to people or are you always given excuses for not delivering?
How trustworthy are you? How much can people rely on your word?
Off course credibility is not built easily and is in fact built on the other 5Cs detailed below.
Competence is having the relevant ability and knowledge to perform in the domain that you wish to influence.
One of the key factors that builds your credibility and thus your power to Influence people is your competence.
Remember it would be much more difficult to get people to listen to your views on a matter, if you are perceived to be someone who lacks, either the knowledge or, the relevant skills.
Human behavior also often works in a way that, if you are seen as an expert or someone very competent in a variety of areas, then it is automatically assumed that you would have a valid or competent view in most other areas where you express yourself.
So, what are you doing to build your competence & be seen as a subject matter expert?
Do you work on building your knowledge and skills such that your views and opinions are not only valued but also sought after by many?
In order to be credible and have the power to influence people there needs to be a predictability & surety of your principles, values and beliefs.
People need to see a consistency in your behavior, in the values or principles behind your decision making and in the things you support, etc.
So you need to think if there are any clear principles or values that you stand by and are known for!
If there is nothing that comes to mind. However, what principles & beliefs do you want to be known for and how are you working to display that consistently in your behavior.
Being aware of and displaying concern for the wellbeing, goals and objectives of others is another key pillar to building credibility and your Influential personality.
Once people see you as a person who puts others needs & expectations at the forefront when taking decisions,
they will be more eager to listen to your suggestions and are less likely to oppose them, as,
there is a belief that you do not take decisions in your own self-interest, but will take into account others and the larger perspective.
So how caring are you for other people’s needs?
How often are you willing to put others needs and expectations above your own desires?
Do you spend time trying to see things from others perspectives?
The ability to face fears and overcome challenges despite the risks is an enviable trait that not many have.
People automatically gravitate and follow the leaders who come forward and ‘Bell the Cat’.
The ones with courage are the ones who speak out in larger groups, they are the one’s people will look to initiate things.
Do you portray yourself as courageous, a person who is not scared of speaking out when required?
Are you the one who speaks regularly and is often in the limelight?
Probably the most important trait we must develop to gain credibility is being honest, open and transparent.
A person known to be transparent & straightforward is considered credible.
The fact is that such a person is known to ‘call a Spade a Spade’ and there is rarely an underlying hidden agenda to his suggestions.
So, How honest and straightforward are you?
Do you speak to people openly & honestly if you have a problem or issue with them?
Do you share what you feel or think openly with people?
There are many people who have the credibility built through many of the aspects mentioned above; however, they lack the visibility with a larger audience.
They generally tend to shy away from the limelight or even mostly choose not to voice their views and opinions. What we all need to remember is that
People will only be aware if we express.
For example, I might be very competent and have great knowledge and skills; however, if I don’t come forward and share that knowledge, how will people be aware?
I might care for the needs and expectations of others; however, if I don’t communicate it and make them aware of how I feel and think, how would they ever know?
Thus, working and building on visibility in the organization or group that you want to influence is paramount.
I hope these 7 points listed above will empower and enable you to not be like Rajesh and instead enable you to take control over your growth through effectively Influencing people.
If you need any further inputs or guidance, register for our Master class on “Building an Influential Personality”, additionally, you can also join our coaching program where I will personally work with you through one-on-one sessions to “Build your Influential Personality”.
There are a whole lot of other articles, videos and programs on our website www.search4excellence.com that can further enhance your ability to positively Influence people and events.