Having the ability to influence your team is an essential leadership skill. Influence means having the power to have an important effect on someone or something. If you influence someone else, you are changing a person or thing in an indirect but important way. Influence gives you power. By gaining influence on your team you will work together more effectively. Gaining influence as a leader can make you more respected and appreciated. Gaining influence in a meeting can make your voice more likely to be heard and acknowledged.
Get to know your team
Spend time observing your team. Watch how they interact with one another and pay attention to how they respond to you. Speak to them and listen. Arrange for private conversations and make employees feel heard and respected. Keep the information you are given safe.
Be a role model
If you do not behave in a reliable and trustworthy way, neither will they. Challenge and address problems. If someone in the team is causing a problem, respond quickly and appropriately. Conflict is often natural within a healthy group dynamic and can sometimes be useful but only if it is constructive. Encourage open discussion and guide the team towards a resolution.
By doing so you create a strong focus. By defining roles and clearly outlining responsibilities the team will be more motivated and will work together more effectively.
By taking time to listen to the views of others we can understand so much more about what is happening around us. The purpose of listening should be to understand the viewpoint of someone else and not just to give your own reply. Being an engaged listener can demonstrate your appreciation of the other person and create an authentic connection. Always make a conscious effort to really listen to what they are saying, maintain eye contact and only respond when they have finished after taking a moment to formulate your thoughts.
You’ve already proved you have the confidence to lead a team as you have been given this role. But be conscious of how you present this to others around you. If you play into this role and present an image of superiority this risks being interpreted as arrogant. Quickly creating an instant barrier that prevents others relating to you.
Respect is earn through actions and not titles. Your team will be looking for a leader who they believe can lead them and they know they can trust. Someone supportive, responsible and able to engage with others without being patronising and authoritarian. By taking time to understand what other people require of you and seeing the situation from their perspective you will start to align your intensions with theirs. As a result you will create foundations to build rapport and establish great working relationships.
Invest in team building
It may seem unproductive to take staff away from the workplace and their work but exercises which strengthen a sense of ‘team’ boosts morale, creates healthy relationships and develops trust. This can always work in general everyday attitudes. Create an environment which values equality and diversity, encourages well being and values staff.
Keep channels of communication open
There should be ample opportunity for the team to talk to one another and share ideas. Make sure everyone is updated on news or changes and involved in decision making. Positive group dynamics occur when all members feel included and valued.
If you have completed a project or had a success bring the whole team together to share in the celebration. Highlight the achievement elsewhere in the organisation so it is also promoted widely. Mark the occasion clearly and ensure that everyone feels included and connected to the success.
Engage in Learning provide Influencing Pathway courses which will help you clarify your goals, focus efforts on the right people and select the most appropriate influencing tactics. The Influencing Teams course will show you how to influence people within your team by learning to analyse the individual and team dynamics and adapt your style accordingly.