Confident Leader

3 key tips to have more influence

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Want to have more influence in your business and career world? Of course you do. We all know those people who always seem to garner attention. People look up to them and they seem to shine in any social or professional gathering.

What’s their secret? Are some people just naturally charismatic? Or is this a skill that can be cultivated?

One of the top skills that leaders need to possess is the ability to influence others. Whether it’s getting buy-in from your team members or sealing the deal with new clients, having influence is always a great thing even if you’re not necessarily comfortable being the center of attention. It leads to opportunities and it leads to persuasion.

Here are three easy, science-baked way to increase your ability to inspire and influence others.

1. Reciprocity

You might be the best in the world at what you do, but if you don’t learn the skill of reciprocity, no one is going to want to work with you or listen to you. The National Academy Sciences found that simple reciprocal activity, like engaging in conversation and be generous with your time, triggered altruism in young children. The same is projected to be true for adults, according to the research.

So this means that it is always good to be the first to give and be sure that it comes from the heart. In return, people will then be more interested in and will pay attention to you.

2. Authority

People follow credible and knowledgeable experts. Often we listen to our doctors, there’s a natural tendency to believe what he or she is saying because they have a deep knowledge in their field. Same theory applies to influence, it is important to signal to others what makes you a credible knowledgeable authority before you try to make an attempt of influencing them.

3. Likability

Most obviously—and yet, perhaps most importantly— people prefer to say yes to those they like. In a series of studies carried out at two business schools, a group of MBA students were told to adopt the ‘Time is Money” idea in a meeting and get straight down to business. In this group 55% were able to come to an agreement with the person.

The second group were told, before you begin negotiations, exchange some personal information, identify a similarity you share in common and then begin negotiations. In this group 90% were able to reach successful and agreeable outcomes. This shows that in order to influence others you need to be able to harness the powerful principle of looking for areas of similarities.

Regardless of your industry, position honing these three skills will positively influence the way you interact with others, get along with your manager, approach conflict — and, ultimately, influence whether your career thrives or withers.

About Jamie Lee Lily Wu

Austern International founders Jamie Lee and Lily Wu create transformational travel and learning experience for students. During the three week global leadership program, students have the opportunities to share their existing knowledge whilst interacting with local mentors and future allies. Its vision is simple “equip students with the skills that will never become obsolete.”

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