What comes to your mind when you think about Influencing without authority?
It can be thought of as either you don’t have an authority to influence other or you don’t exercise your authority while influencing others. Either ways, why do you think you need an authority to influence someone, of course for better things? Influencing or being able to convince others is a hard skill to learn, takes a lot of experience. Moreover, person capable of influencing others can be your most trusted friend or your worst nightmares, as the person would be able to convince others for better or for worse; which can have a strong impact on you.
Ever seen a child talking about his school friends and trying to convince you that he did nothing wrong and yet he was punished. You being closely associated with the child will be inclined towards him. Similarly, to be able to convince others, the foremost step is, you let go of your ego. Your desire to control others can become evident over time. It does not need you to be a manager or be senior to the person, rather it becomes difficult for people at later stages of their careers as they are perceived to be control freaks.
As a common notion goes, respect others (first) to be respected by others. You need to be able to demonstrate that your role has nothing to do with what you are saying. You mean what you say. The expression of interest, care, well being, and similar form the basis of this capability (influencing) and adds to your credibility. A bad manager resort to forced influence and creates an environment of hostility.
Ever wonder why friends are able to convince you better than others? It’s because they understand you and are there to help you, whenever you need them. They put aside any ill-thoughts and guide you to set right goals, will gather information for you, and help you make an educated decision. They stand with you when everyone else lets you down.
Praising others is one thing, praising them in public gives them a greater sense of appreciation and social acceptance. So, never by shy of admiring and thanking other out in the open. And when you do that, be genuine! You would be surprised to know how your mind, body, and words you speak can tell a lot about your feelings. When you don’t really mean to say good things, your choice of words will give it up for you.
The art of influencing should not be used for the wrong reasons. After all, there is a growth for you when you help others grow, even if you don’t realise it. Nonetheless, you don’t need an authority to influence others, you only need a genuine desire to help others. Just be careful of your actions and its impact in the long run, because there may be other people associated with the person (whom you influence) who can be affected by it.
“The key to successful leadership is influence, not authority.” ~ Kenneth H. Blanchard
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