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They Said Yes: How to Have More Influence in the Workplace

May 15, 2019

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Workplaces sometimes get a bad rap. But, this bad rap is sometimes from people who simply don't understand the power of influence in the workplace.

As the "office nice guy" or the "overly pushy one," they don't understand why their work is being unnoticed. But, take note, it isn't always about the work you're doing or not doing but the way you present yourself.

People are constantly trying to figure out whether or not you are competent and trustworthy in the workplace. They want to be able to rely on you and feel comfortable working by your side.

However, if you act out aggressively from time to time, then your coworkers may feel on edge. On the other end of the spectrum, if you never speak up and agree to complete insignificant tasks for your coworkers, then your true value may never get noticed.

So of course, we all try to find the middle ground. And, what does this middle ground look like? It looks like having confidence, connecting, and being consistent.

These traits make up the baseline for having influence in the workplace. But knowing how to cultivate these traits and use them to influence your workplace is a more complex topic.

Read on to learn more about how to cultivate influence in the workplace to receive the credit you deserve.

Influence in the Workplace: Jedi Mind Tricks or Long-Term Strategy for Success?

Some influence strategies may seem like Jedi mind tricks, but no influencing strategy is a quick fix. Some may seem simple in nature, but they need to be practiced and implemented into your daily routine. This may require making some changes, changes that may seem uncomfortable at first.

This is especially true if your "office persona" has already been defined in the workplace. But, it's still possible to implement change with patience, dedication, and self-awareness. Explore the following ways to gain more influence in the workplace and advance your career.

1. Body Language

Many of us view our body language as part of who we are. However, we need to keep in mind that others are constantly scanning our body language to learn more about us. From the way we stand to where we place our hands, other peoples' brains are trying to figure out whether we are a friend or "an enemy".

When attempting to gain influence with others, try to put your shoulders back, your head and chin up, and your hands to your side. This signals to others that you're confident as well as friendly. It could also help you to feel more confident about yourself!

2. Saying "Yes" and Saying "No"

If you're the nice guy or gal at work then you may have a hard time saying no. While it's a commendable trait to be flexible, we need to learn how to prioritize our yesses and our nos appropriately.

To do this, we need to focus on goals that are most important to us. Then, if we truly have enough time to complete a task or errand for another, then we can gladly do that. The trouble people sometimes get themselves into is saying yes to everyone and then getting behind on projects important to them.

In fact, they may have gotten so used to saying yes that they don't have a clear goal in mind. Find your important goals and schedule all of your yesses and nos in accordance with this goal.

3. Cultivating Trust

To cultivate trust, start by listening to others. Actively listen without getting distracted.

You can also cultivate trust by building up your coworkers. But, make sure that the compliments and praise you give them are genuine and related to positive skills and traits in the workplace.

Read more here about building trust in the workplace.

4. Produce Consistent Results

To gain the trust of your superiors, your colleagues, and even yourself it's important to produce consistent results. This means meeting deadlines, showing up, and completing tasks you agreed to.

If your colleagues and bosses are disgruntled about your performance, then it's unlikely that you will be able to positively influence them. Remember, you're in a competitive, goals-driven environment where results do matter. Even if you have the most positive demeanor in the office, it won't mean as much if your work is subpar.

5. Network

At work, we have a tendency to stick with the people we are familiar with. Even though you already have the job, it's important to network within your workplace as well. For example, feel free to introduce yourself to people in other departments.

These people may be the key to a future promotion or be able to influence your superiors in the future.

6. Enhance Your Skillset

Lastly, it's important to continue growing within your job by enhancing your skillset. Learn all that you can about your field by reading books, watching YouTube videos, and conducting research. You can also ask a coworker or boss to be your mentor.

Influence in the Workplace: An Opportunity for Self-Growth

One of the best ways to look at gaining influence in the workplace is an opportunity for self-growth. Sometimes we are simply unaware of how we're presenting ourselves, so developing these skills will help us to understand ourselves better. We'll also be able to understand our current level of achievement and how we can improve that.

In the end, gaining influence in the workplace is all about cultivating a more positive place to work. Some of the tasks may feel unnatural to you, like saying no, but understand that doing so will allow you more time to complete important tasks which will improve your mood. And if your mood is improved, you're better able to get along and feel more accepted as a result.

Being in a workplace is usually heavily centered around your attitude. Two people can work for the same company and one can hate it while the other loves it. By understanding the power of influence in the workplace, however, you might be able to begin loving your job as you learn to take better care of yourself and your coworkers.

Thinking of starting a family business? Check out our blog post to learn more about how to run a successful family business.