How can I influence positively?
Greg Kirwan discusses the importance of positive influence in today’s challenging world of work.
In today’s world of work, leaders need to be more resilient than ever. The impact of the pandemic and a widely dispersed workforce have had major repercussions on the way leaders and their teams need to operate. It’s essential for leaders to be future fit and have the necessary tools at their disposal so that their actions are empirically proven to stabilise organisations. Leaders also need to be able to inspire, influence, and transform teams, be courageous and authentic, and increasingly need to change or strengthen the culture within teams.
In this series, Olivier Mythodrama’s CEO Greg Kirwan looks at how leadership teams can make a positive impact, what happens when leaders get it wrong, how they can overcome challenges and why they need to be future fit.
The word influencer can have both positive and negative connotations. To the teenagers of today influencers are seen as superstars, but their influence can have a negative impact on self-esteem as the teens try and imitate their idols which can lead to anxiety and stress when they feel they’re failing. It’s the same in organisations. Some leaders feel the need to force their influence on their teams to work harder and push for greater results. If it’s done in the right way it can have a great impact, but how can you be sure you achieve this in a positive rather than negative way?
Communicate openly and honestly with your team and make them feel valued. It’s important to talk to your team. How can they know what you need from them if you don’t tell them? In today’s hybrid working world your team are likely to be in different locations or even time zones so you need to make sure they know they can call on you when they need to. It’s important to make time for group discussions and open forums so they feel they’re being kept up to date and have the chance to share their views and see other team members.
As I’ve just said communicating with your team is important but making the time to listen is just as important. If someone in your team is having a problem, whether it’s work related or not, make it clear that you are there to support them. I’ve told my team on many occasions that they can contact me at any time and talk to me about anything, and I know I can do the same with them. Some might find it a bit strange to start with but keep reinforcing the message. Being able to stop and listen is invaluable, it builds trust, reduces anxiety and leads to a more inspired workforce.
I talk about trust a lot, I think it’s the most important part of being a leader and is the basis of any relationship. If your team trusts you, it can make you into a better leader as your team will be more open to your ways of working and be more willing to follow your lead. Trust is important on so many levels. Whether you’re bringing new people into the team, making changes or communicating some other business decisions if you have your teams trust from the outset, it will make managing the process a lot easier.
Lead by example
You need to show that you’re willing to roll your sleeves up and get stuck in. If you expect your team to do something, you also need to be prepared to do it yourself and demonstrate that. You’re asking your team to commit to you, so you need to show that you are committed to them as well.
You can have a positive influence on your team by adding value to their careers. Give credit where it’s due, provide a helping hand when needed. If you help your team get what they want, they will often do the same in return.
Olivier Mythodrama has been delivering innovative and thought provoking leadership training for over 20 years. The people and organisations we have worked with describe our training as life changing. We think they’re right. We already work with some of the world’s leading businesses. Are you ready to join them?