How to Win and Influence People in the Work Space

Influence is power. To be effective in organizations today, you must be able to influence people. No matter who you are, where you work, or what your professional goals are, influence in the workplace is critical for success. Your title alone isn’t always enough to sway others but gaining that influence, like learning a skill, takes time and effort. Fortunately, there are many strategies you can use to cultivate this characteristic.

Be Personal

A little personality goes a long way, especially when you're trying to build influence in the workplace. Saying people’s names will really make an impact. People love hearing their own names. It’s like you’re personalizing generic small talk with every use. As Dale Carnegie, author of How to Win Friends and Influence People, wrote, “A person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.” Learn coworkers’ names, use them when speaking to them, and you’ll leave a more positive impression from the start.  Go Out of your way to have personal exchanges with your employees and co-workers. You don't need to build friendships, but there's no reason why you can't get to know each other. Personal working relationships are important for cultivating a sense of team, and if people see you as another person on the team, they'll be more receptive when you disclose your ideas or opinions. The key here is to seem imperfect, approachable, and human.

Be Someone You’d Want to Be Friends with

 One of the secrets, to building successful relationships in your workplace is by being a good workmate. Ask yourself now: “Would I want to hang out with me right now?” If the answer is no, chances are that your co-workers are feeling the same way. And it’s time for you to improve what has to improve.

Remember that you don’t have to be perfectly charming and gorgeous to win friends, you just have to become someone people want to talk to. It will enrich your life and open so many doors than you ever thought possible.

At the end of the day, people remember kindness. People do not discuss much about your talent, where you went to college, or your past achievements but people will more likely judge you based on your attitude towards them.

Listen to Others 

Remember that influence is a two-way street. The more you believe in the people around you and incorporate their ideas into your vision, the more they'll believe in your ideas and incorporate them into their work habits. If you want to build up this kind of relationship with your co-workers and employees, you first have to listen.

However, there is a difference between simply listening to people and listening with deep interest. Listening with interest signifies that you really care about what they are saying, in contrast, to simply listening because it is the polite thing to do. This creates an atmosphere of mutual trust, mutual respect, and mutual teamwork. If you're spearheading the initiative to build this environment, they'll come to see you as a leader, and your opinions will naturally be heard, acknowledged, and respected as a result.

Influence is an extraordinary asset in the professional world, but remember, your goal here should be to become more respected in the workplace, not to increase the likelihood of getting others to do your bidding.

Focus on Actions rather Than Argument

Trying to build influence through words is useless. Even a leader with perfect diction and a background in rhetorical strategy can't hope to win the influence of his or her peers through speeches and arguments alone. If you're going to build influence in the workplace, you need to speak through your actions, or at the very least have the actions and history to back up whatever it is you're saying. Having strong and stable personal and professional relationships relies on you taking responsibility for your actions, especially your mistakes.

Part of this comes into play when you build consistency. Working hard consistently and getting consistently good results shows people that you're able to walk the walk. Demonstrating your ideas through real examples is the next step in this process. Instead of arguing about how your structure will work in theory, put it to the test. Show instead of tell.

Give Praise and Honest Appreciation 

One of the strongest needs we as humans have is the need to feel appreciated. When you genuinely praise others, you lift their spirits, enhance their self-confidence and add fuel to their motivational fire. Perhaps more than anything, you give them something good to think about themselves. But why do we do this? This makes us practice our empathic skills and create a deeper connection with them. If simple words of praises can do so much to enhance someone’s life, why don’t we give more of it? This will be a hard practice in the first couple of days, genuine compliments don’t come easily if we don’t put practice towards it. Get gradually better every day. And eventually, you will get the results you want.


Anu Ogunlowo

Anu Ogunlowo, Content Marketer| Copy writer at ikOOba Technologies. Former SEO analyst at Konga, online shopping mall. Gained customer intelligence as a customer service agent and moved to a chosen career path. She is an expert and ever-improving digital marketer, content strategist, SEO and Social media analyst.

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