Leadership is the ability to inspire and motivate others to follow your lead. It’s not necessarily a specific position or a job title and there are times when you have to lead those you work with, but without the formal authority to back you up. So what can you do to positively influence others in these situations?
Exerting Influence Without Authority
Back in the good old days, if someone was in a position of authority, they could just tell what needs to be done and assume it would be carried out. However, times have changed and as companies become larger and more complex these days, people need to work with each other across reporting lines. This means that if someone wants to see something done, they will have to convince people. Leading or influencing without relying on authority or formal titles supports trusting relationships based on mutual objectives and creates positive working environments. When it comes to influence, there are various types of influencers including bloggers, celebrities, journalists, thought leaders, and social media influencers. Social media marketing is especially growing in popularity these days and it involves building social media influencer engagement, which means building relationships with people who can build relationships for you. These individuals possess the power to influence others in the social media space and have a lot of followers.
However, if you want to become a better leader and build influence in the workplace, you will have to learn how to manage your time effectively and how to influence without authority. These are some of the most important skills you must develop on your own by implementing various practices into your daily routine. The goal is to get others to willingly cooperate and engage, rather than following instructions because you’re in charge. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest secrets and examples of influencing without authority!
Leaders who are humble and willing to admit their own mistakes make the best leaders. Humble leaders know that they must listen to those around them and empower them by showing that their opinions are valued. So, make sure you’re always listening to other people, even those in lower-level positions and keep your personal ego in check. It’s hard to have faith in someone who is egoistic, thinks too highly of himself and is unable to control his emotions. People need humble leaders who know how to keep things in perspective and make thoughtful decisions.
Open-mindedness is crucial to job success. Leaders who ask questions of their colleagues are expressing a sincere interest in these individuals’ concerns and problems. By taking the time to reflect on what you hear, you’re perceived as someone reliable – open to other people’s opinions and accepting of their beliefs and choices. An open-minded leader is able to gain the trust of the team and inspire other people to come for their advice and support.
The most successful people possess a deep passion for the activities in which they engage. So, let your passion shine through because your energy, drive, and enthusiasm are contagious and will inspire others, but it will also inspire you to reach new heights. Show a genuine sense of excitement about the challenges ahead and others will naturally want to follow your lead. People are drawn to leaders who have a vision, passion, and a belief in a better tomorrow, so give others a reason to follow you and stay passionate about your work.
Taking responsibility is one of the most important traits of great leaders. Be brave, own up to your mistakes and embrace responsibility for yourself and your actions. Because, if you want to influence people without authority and become a great leader, then blaming others cannot be tolerated. It’s not fair to expect others to follow your lead and trust your ideas if you’re not willing to accept full responsibility. Pay attention to how you respond when questioned about your actions, be honest, and be a good role model. When others see that you’re accepting full responsibility for your actions and when they see the amazing results you’re getting, they will gladly follow you.
Develop Deep Relationships
Another good way to encourage others to follow your lead is to get to know them first. Improve your time management skills and spend time with your employees or team members outside the office.
Making time for your employees is one of the best time management tactics and a great way to show a genuine interest in their personal and professional lives. Good leaders know that connections in the workplace make a difference, so cultivate your inner circle of followers and you’ll be surprised to see how easily it will be to generate support from the rest of the employees. Other people will be looking for ways to get into the inner circle and this will make your job easier when trying to inspire trust and loyalty among your team members.
Don’t be Over Controlling
The myth about leadership control is one of the biggest leadership myths out there. If you’re the boss, that doesn’t mean that you automatically have more control over people, things, and circumstances. Stop wishing for control and use your knowledge to guide and support your colleagues. Many new leaders try to get their employees to think and act like them, which is a big mistake. If you want to become an authentic leader, don’t try to be “bossy” and show that you trust, understand, and care about your employees enough to earn their commitment.
Offer to Help
Good leaders are always in a position to help others. Your team members will be more likely to come on board if you tell them that you understand the problems they are facing and you’re willing to come up with solutions that will make it easier for them. Spend an extra hour a week helping others with a deadline and demonstrate that you’re a great team player. By helping others, you’re setting a good example for your colleagues to do the same and they will be more likely to go out of their way to help you.
Manage Your Time Effectively
Leaders have too many responsibilities that keep their schedules packed. However, effective leaders put their time management skills into play in order to ensure that they accomplish their goals and maximize their time. Delegate tasks wisely – proper delegation is one of the most effective time management techniques. You don’t need to control every little thing that your employees do. Another thing you need to do is to set specific goals to strive for. Goals give your employees purpose and direction, so set measurable goals with others and then regularly monitor their progress. When your employees do a good job, recognize their achievements and reward them for a task well done. This is one of the most positive ways to encourage and motivate everyone to work harder.
Gratitude is one of the leader’s most underused but powerful tools. A leader who is grateful towards their employees gains their trust, respect and their effort. Gratitude can’t be faked and is encouraging because it’s a reward for effort and when we’re rewarded for our effort, we want to give even more effort. So, refrain from being too demanding and be grateful for those around you. Thank people in public and express appreciation – let them know that their actions are notice and their effort appreciated. Be a grateful leader and you will inspire people to bring more of themselves to the table.