The New Year brings with it the energy to get things done and the intention to make a difference. When that difference is to implement change at work, where should you focus your energy? One area to work on is increasing your influence.
Increasing your influence may seem like a long-term undertaking, but there are some simple things you can do to bolster your influence, and you can even start today. Do one or more of the following things to give your influence a boost.
1. Choose Your Mindset
Your mindset for the day – about the people you work with, about the change you’re trying to implement, and even about yourself – affects your ability to influence. You can believe that people just don’t want to change, or you can choose to be curious about the underlying source of their resistance. You can feel like you’re banging your head against a wall, or you can gear yourself up for a challenge. You can lament how difficult it is to influence from your position in the organization, or you can believe you are a force to be reckoned with. The important thing to remember is that you get to choose. So today, assess what your current mindset is, and if it’s not helping you, then consciously choose the mindset that will set you up to be successful.
2. Make a Connection
A key factor in your ability to influence is not just whom you know, but also your relationships with them. To build your influence, you can both broaden your network and deepen your existing relationships at work. Doing that can be as simple as inviting someone to coffee or lunch today. No hidden agenda, just get to know each other better. Or make it three by asking someone you know to invite someone they work with, or invite two people you know who normally don’t work together. You will improve your relationships and probably spark a few ideas that wouldn’t have occurred otherwise. And you’ll be known as someone who can make connections.
3. Do Someone a Favor
In his book Influence, Robert Cialdini lists reciprocity as one of the principles of influence. If you do someone a favor, they will feel indebted to return it. Adam Grant, in his book Give and Take, shows that those who help others without expecting anything in return (whom he calls Givers) generally are more influential in the long run than those who expect reciprocity (called Matchers). Either way, to boost your influence today, find a way to help someone out – share your expertise, take on a small task, bring someone coffee, and just go the extra mile. Your effort will be credited to your influence bank.
So, if your New Year’s resolution is to make an impact at work, go ahead and put together your plans for implementing change. But start moving in that direction today by taking a few simple steps to increase your influence at work.
Looking for ways to increase your influence longer term? Let’s work together in my Influence Accelerator Coaching Program.