Activating Your Sphere of Influence
As a leader, there is often a need to get work done with the help of other people or departments that do not report directly to you. The art of persuasive influence becomes increasingly important in the absence of formal authority. Without taking advantage of this skill, common outcomes like inconsistent communication, lackluster engagement and missed deadlines can paralyze an organization and frustrate leaders.
When you find yourself challenged by the need to influence without authority, use these tips to activate your sphere of influence:
- Assess the "Workscape." Carefully consider the culture and work style of the individual or the team you are working with. Adjust your approach to convey an interest in collaboration, rather than criticism or conflict.
- Employ a Strategy That is Both Business and Personal. Invest time with those you seek to influence in order to absorb as much as you can about their priorities and challenges.
- Stimulate Action via Inquiry. Help to spark initiative and decision making in others by strategically using probing questions.