Do You Have the Leadership Wisdom to Influence Others?

“Your ability to influence others requires not taking yourself too seriously.” Jeannette Seibly

Often, as leaders, we take ourselves too seriously and lose our ability to influence others. Then, our results suffer, and so do our customers, team members, and bottom line.

How do you know when you’re taking yourself too seriously? When you …

  • Fail to build on ideas and create win-win-win outcomes.
  • Openly disparage others that disagree with you.
  • Exclude people with broader experience instead of learning from them.
  • Defend your limited experience in an attempt to feel better about yourself.

… you are taking yourself too seriously.

Instead, can you …

  • Discuss others’ opinions without being defensive?
  • Take an idea or concept and build it into a win-win-win outcome?
  • Laugh at yourself?
  • See the bigger picture and reframe it into bite-size pieces to get everyone on the same page?
  • Make decisions that balance both the facts and the human interests?

If you answered yes to these questions, good for you! You are on the right track as a leader and influencer. And you’re not taking yourself too seriously.

However, if you answered no to any of these questions, these are areas of your leadership style that can negatively impact your ability to influence others and need development.

Remember, influencing others is essential to effective leadership … not our technical know-how.

4 Key Ways to Influence Others and Achieve Intended Results

When you stop taking yourself too seriously, we create a workplace culture focusing on results, relationships, and meeting customers’ needs. The following four key ways to influence others are critical to that success.

Practice Persuasive Listening. The secret to becoming an influencer is to listen more – talk less! When listening, you must silence your internal mental chatterbox and refrain from thinking about your next response while others are talking. Effective and persuasive listening is one of the top leadership skills required to guide new solutions that might not be readily apparent.

Be Open to Differing Opinions. The fastest way to lose your ability to influence others is when you become defensive, belittle others, or take a stand against others’ ideas. To be an influential leader, put aside your ego, listen, and ask questions or you’ll miss important details required for seamless execution.

Be a Team Player. Many leaders don’t make good team players. To be a great leader and influencer, you must be a great team player! Otherwise, you lose the ability to influence others and the outcomes of any project. Ask how you can help. Roll up your sleeves and get involved. When others make suggestions, you don’t understand or agree with, say, “Interesting. I don’t see how that would work. Can you walk me through the details?” Now listen and learn.

Appreciate Each and Every Team Member. Many leaders have team members they don’t like or don’t value. They allow their personal feelings and egos to get in the way. If you wish to influence others, you must learn to appreciate others and their contributions. Be genuine. Say to your team members: “I appreciate you.” “Great ideas!” “I look forward to working with you!” And, mean what you say!

©Jeannette L. Seibly, 2011-2022 All Rights Reserved

Jeannette Seibly is The Leadership Results Coach. She’s celebrating 30 years as an award-winning international executive consultant, speaker, and coach. Her clients value the listening and positive difference she brings to any conversation. Feel stuck in a sticky situation or in challenging relationships? Want straightforward counsel to blast through it? Contact Jeannette for a confidential discussion. PS: She’s also a three-time Amazon Best-Selling Author!

A note from Jeannette about being a leader with the skills to influence others: Listening, developing ideas with your team, and acknowledging others are marks of a leader that positively influences others. Not sure where to begin? Contact me for a confidential conversation.

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