If you really want to have an impact at work, you have to be able to influence in all directions in your organization; up (with your boss), down (with your employees), and across (with your peers and teams). It’s the across part that feels especially tricky, no? How do you influence those over whom you have no formal authority?
Actually, it’s quite simple. Thus, I’m going to keep this as the shortest post for The Blog I’ve ever written. It boils down to one directive, as I share in my new book, Leading from the Middle: A Playbook for Managers to Influence Up, Down, and Across the Organization. If you want to influence without leaning on your position power (or if you have no position power), use your personal power. We’ll get to that very shortly.
First, I want you to pause right now and think about someone in your life who had no authority over you, yet was tremendously influential.
Seriously. Take a moment to picture that person. I’ll wait.
Now, odds are this person’s impact came from their displaying one of (or all of) four things:
Do the same, with consistency, and intentionality, and I 100% assure you that this display of personal power will dramatically increase your influence.
I call this the Golden Rule of Influence; influence others the same basic ways you were influenced. It’s especially powerful for influencing peers you have no authority over because your willingness to care, listen, give, and teach aren’t the norm and will be seen as true gifts. The absence of authority isn’t a barrier to influencing because you’re drawing on the basics of human emotion and empathy.
Care. Listen. Give. Teach. And you’ll Influence.
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