This is the twenty-first installment in our 25 week series exploring the 25 competencies, or soft skills, that our assessments measure. Each week we’ll give you the definition of that competency, explain its value, and give you tips to help you develop it. This week: Influencing Others.
Influencing Others is all about being able to personally affect others actions, decisions, opinions or thinking. It’s your ability to persuade. We’re not talking used car salesmen here though. The goal of developing your skill in Influencing Others is to help you create win-win situations. Not so that you can more easily take advantage of others.
Those that are skilled in Influencing Others are able to build great trust and rapport with others. This is the true root of influence. People will not listen to or follow someone that they don’t trust. In order to get people to see your point of view they first need to believe that your point of view, though different than theirs, will still be good for them. Once that trust has been established, you can move on to sharing your opinions and convincing others of your argument.
As humans, we are constantly interacting with and attempting to influence those around us. Maybe you’re asking a neighbor for a favor, maybe you’re trying to potty train your child, maybe you’re trying to get a friend to come to a concert with you, or maybe you’re trying to get a new client on board. It is a skill that is paramount to getting things done and almost everyone uses it every day to some degree.
If you’d like to start developing your skills in Influencing Others, you can start by studying your audience. Any time you need to convince someone of something, take a moment to step into their shoes and see things from their perspective. What is most important to them in this conversation? What do they care about getting out of this situation? Remember that people only ever do things for their own reasons, not yours, so focus on identifying how you can help this person get what they want while helping yourself get what you want. Win-win.
If you would like to learn more ways to develop your ability to Influence Others, you can download our Influencing Others Rx Suite here.