Forced Influence

Forced influence is influence perceived to be valuable, but in truth, it is only temporary until it is either earned or lost entirely. The best example of this is when a new leader joins a company and begins to exert their authority. They have a certain degree of influence by the job title and position within the company, but if they are not well liked or respected, then their staff and team members will fulfill their tasks out of respect for the position rather than the person. As a leader, when you are only gaining the cooperation of your staff through your job title, then the strength of that influence is minimal. Your staff will put in the minimum effort just to complete the task, rather than going the extra mile to deliver the outstanding service you want to offer.

Try to think back to the worst boss you have ever worked for; they may have influenced you because they were your boss, but if anything, you resented them, and the last thing you wanted to do was make them look good. Although this may not seem professional, it is human nature, and that is why forced influence is only temporary, and certainly not very valuable.

Earned Influence

Influence and strong leadership can often be interchangeable, as they are directly connected. A good leader can exert and command influence, but the minute you lose the ability to influence your staff or team, the power behind your leadership blows away like a grain of sand in the wind.

When people respect you and want to work with and for you, your influence is magnified many times over. In fact, influence need not necessarily be related to the hierarchical position within the company. The question is, how does anyone go about generating and then maintaining that influence?

Five Steps To Becoming A Respected Leader With Unlimited Resources Of Influence

Treat Everyone As If They Could Be Your Boss In Two Years Time

Influencing people is a lot easier if they like and respect you. One of the best tips I always give is to treat people as if they could be your boss in the future. By being polite, listening to your staff, and demonstrating that you care, you will earn their respect, and along with it, your influence will blossom. Many years ago, a leader in a company a friend worked for approached her with a gift on her birthday. It was only a box of chocolates, but in this instance, the thought was much more important than the gift. One of the top leaders in the company had remembered it was my friend’s birthday and taken the time to buy her a small gift and present it to her. That incident took place over 25 years ago, and yet my friend still remembers it fondly. By treating people how you would wish to be treated, you will quickly earn the respect of your team and your fellow workers.

Set Yourself High Personal Standards

Influence is also directly related to trust. If you make a promise to someone in the workplace, make sure that you follow through and complete the task that you promised. Establishing a reputation for honesty, integrity and delivering on your promises will encourage people to take what you say at face value. They will trust what you say and be motivated to help you achieve your goals. You will have earned their respect and have established a strong influence within the company.

Look Smart and Professional At All Times

If you want to become part of the top 20 percent within your industry, or even just your company, then appearance and first impressions are critical. Constantly Look For Ways To Improve Yourself

Sometimes Influence and Respect Can Be Gained By Listening To Your Team

Look at all of the ideas and suggestions above and you will notice that they can all be implemented on a daily basis. Practice them daily so that they become automatic, and you will notice drastic improvements in your leadership and influence.

An excellent way of analyzing your current influence aptitudes is by using the Keller Influence Indicator® assessment. Track your progress as you grow not only in daily influence efforts but also in developing the Seven Influence Traits™. Even the best leaders need to dedicate time and effort to earning influence on a daily basis, but the payback is well worth the effort.


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From regional manager to international executive with quadruple the pay, Karen Keller’s unique blueprint carefully outlined the step-by-step process for creating high-impact influence and let me know when I was being influenced in a way that didn’t serve me.
Lloyd Moore
Global Director Supplier Quality & Development - Lear Corporation – South Carolina