I was talking with a client a few days ago about influence - and what gets in the way of people being able to influence the thinking and actions of others. Many hard working and well meaning people are not heard and fail to impact others. The model I use to train influencing skills has four parts. Here is my definitions and the four parts. Tell me what you think, have I captured the essential elements?
Definition: Work influence is your ability to make a positive impact on others (actions, decisions, or points of view). Peers, employees, and leaders respect and seek out influential professionals. The receiver determines your level of influence. Real influence comes from impact, not status.
Your Reputation: Your ability to impact others starts with how you are known and how people feel about you. Your reputation is your currency and with it you buy attention, consideration, trust, and commitment. You are constantly reshaping, reinforcing, and rebuilding your reputation.
Quality of Information: Do you share the type, depth, and amount of information that people need to understand and respond to your requests? Many smart and hardworking professionals fail to influence others when they don’t adequately prepare for meetings, presentations, or discussions.
Ease of Action: How easy do you make it for people to act? The simpler the path forward, the more likely people will enroll in your request. Influential professionals present options that people can understand and accept. They reduce hassle and provide helpful shortcuts to action.
Follow Through: Once you have enrolled others, do you know what to do with their support, effort, and commitment? Are you a talker or a doer? It is important to bring work to fruition and demonstrate a results orientation that tells people their attention was well spent. If you pitch ideas and then fail to follow-through, people will justifiably question future efforts and be less likely to take your proposals seriously.