Build Influence at Work and Rocket Up the Path to Success

Build Influence at Work and Rocket Up the Path to Success

If you’ve ever felt like your efforts at work go unnoticed or that no one really appreciates the hard work and dedication that you put in, it may be time to start building some influence capital. As intimidating as that can sound, building influence can help you rocket up the path of success in any job role. Unsure where to begin? Keep reading; we’ve got your back.

Influence and Position at Work: What’s the Diff?

In a nutshell, influence refers to your ability to affect the actions or decisions of others, while position refers to your role or title that you hold within an organization.

If you’re in a high-level position, such as a manager or executive, you might have a great deal of formal authority, but you might not necessarily have a lot of influence.

On the other hand, if you’re in a lower-level position, you might not have much formal authority. Still, you might have a great deal of influence due to your expertise or the personal relationships you’ve taken the time to cultivate.

How to Build Influence and Become a Better Leader at Work

There are quite a few ways you can go about this, but we’ll cover the essentials below.

Develop Expertise

Commit to building a deep understanding of your industry, your company, and your specific job function. This knowledge will give you credibility and help you make informed decisions, which attracts the attention of people looking for guidance and wisdom.

Build Relationships

Strong relationships with colleagues, clients, and other stakeholders will help you understand their needs and concerns and make it more likely that they will be open to your ideas and suggestions. It’s like sales. You can’t make sales if customers don’t know you, like you, and trust you. Building relationships at work performs a similar function, except you’re selling yourself and your skills, not a product.

Communicate Effectively

Communicate your ideas and plans clearly and persuasively, both verbally and in writing. If communication is not your strong suit, it’s a good idea to seek to improve in that area because it will serve you throughout life, not just at work.

Lead by Example

Sounds so elementary, but set a good example for others by being reliable, responsible, and dependable. Others will look up to you, and leadership that’s above you will take note, too.

Empower Others

Ever heard that old saying, there’s no ‘I’ in team? It’s true; teamwork makes the dream work. Share power, responsibility, and decision-making with your team members, and give them the opportunity to take ownership of their work. Good leaders want to replicate themselves, not place themselves on their own mini-throne.

Be Flexy and Adapty

In other words, be open to new ideas and be willing to change course when necessary. Strengths like flexibility and adaptability are key for avoiding stagnation in your growth and also serve as an example to emulate to those around you.

Value Ethics and Integrity

Always act with integrity and in alignment with the company’s values. People are always watching, and when you become known for being ethical with a high level of integrity, people begin to trust you and look to you to lead them.

Of course, those aren’t the only ways to help build influence at work. You can also do simple things like:

  • Network: Attend industry events, conferences, and networking opportunities to build relationships with people outside of your organization.
  • Volunteer for projects: Take on additional responsibilities and volunteer for high-profile projects to demonstrate your skills and capabilities.
  • Seek out mentorship: Seek a mentor who can guide you and provide valuable advice and feedback.
  • Show initiative: Take the initiative to identify and solve problems and suggest improvements.
  • Be results-driven: Set clear goals, work hard to achieve them, and show your results and impact on the company.
  • Be proactive: Stay informed about the latest developments in your industry, company, and job function, and be ready to take advantage of new opportunities as they arise.
  • Build a strong team: Build a strong team by hiring, training, and mentoring your team members and encouraging them to be their best selves.

Overall, building influence is a continuous process that requires a combination of skills, knowledge, and the right mindset, but with time, effort, and persistence, you can establish yourself as an influential person in your workplace.

Benefits of Building Influence at Work

Building influence at work can have several benefits, and it goes beyond just being seen as a leader or good at your job. There are intangible benefits as well.

Better Relationships and Increased Job Satisfaction

The long and short of it is that you have more control over your work and can make a greater impact in your organization when you take the time to cultivate influence and build relationships with your colleagues, clients, and other stakeholders. All of this makes it more likely they will be open to your ideas and suggestions, which means you will enjoy your job more.

Career Advancement and Growth Opportunities

Building influence can help you advance in your career by making you more valuable to your organization. When the higher-ups have a need, they are going to look to the people that are on their radar first and foremost. Being known as influential places you on that radar like a homing beacon, and you’ll be top of mind for a role advancement. It can also open up new opportunities for learning and growth by giving you access to new projects, responsibilities, and experiences.

Greater Effectiveness and Impact

When you have influence, you are able to achieve your goals more effectively, and make a greater impact on your organization, because you can not only leverage your skills but also leverage the skills of those you pour into around you. When effectiveness rises, so does impact by driving change and creating value.

Greater Autonomy and Control

When you have influence, you have more autonomy over your work and can make your own decisions. You have greater control over your work and your environment, which can lead to greater job satisfaction and a more positive work experience. This can be really good for loners who don’t love to work collaboratively or who want to skip all the hoops and just do their job each day. You’re trusted because you’ve proven yourself valuable, which leads to more flexibility and freedom.

Building influence at work can feel daunting at first, but all it takes is being intentional with how you show up in your role each day. Nail it, and you’ll discover greater joy in your job and maybe even career advancement. Sounds like a win-win to us!


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