Leadership Coach and Business Psychologist Jasbindar Singh discusses how ensuring you influence with integrity is the key to boosting your influencing skills in the workplace. Being able to influence or choosing not to be influenced is a necessary survival skill in business, she writes.
Everyday in life we get opportunities to influence others around us. In the work domain, this includes our peers, direct reports, our manager who may be the MD or CEO and customers and suppliers.
Some of us do this unconsciously – and may not even realize we are doing this through the conversations we have. On the other extreme is the more politically motivated ones do this in a calculated and strategic manner.
Either ends of the extreme have their own issues – from being invisible and looked over for projects to being seen as a political animal – without necessarily the follow through on delivery – that one needs to be weary of.
So what really does influencing mean?
Being able to influence or choosing not to be influenced is a necessary survival skill in business.
Whether you are an emerging or senior leader, unless you are able to influence others to buy your vision, you will not be gaining follow ship and full engagement from those you are leading.
As a team member, unless you can influence or stand up to others influence that are less than positively inspired, you will not be able to harness respect, good collaboration and sharing from others.
The old model of coercive and autocratic leadership – “do as you are told” no longer holds sway as it disempowers employees and managers alike. Not seeing them as them as capable and competent thinking contributors of their teams and organization.
So what are some things to be mindful of when influencing others?
The KEY here is to Influence with integrity.
Be mindful of the following three points:
1) Greater Good
Ask yourself – “what is the bigger cause or greater good here?”
As a business leader, this means coming from a bigger picture or higher place of “advancing the cause” such as rolling out a vision, making a positive contribution, creating growth and opportunities – all of which benefit the individuals, team, organization and or community.
In other words, it is less about “you” and “your agenda” but more of a win-win outcome or one that will benefit more than just yourself. Obviously there will be some overlap here too.
The term Dharma as in the Hindu philosophy meaning “doing the right thing” captures the spirit well here.
Your orientation is one that is beneficial and not harmful. Think Hitler. He was a hugely influential leaders …need I say more?
Knowing and living your values also helps in influencing with integrity and decision-making.
Our values help us with our “true north” and helps us chart the course in challenging times.
Influencing with integrity means having an alignment a comfortable degree of alignment between your own values and that of the organization.
Clearly at times this will not be perfect but as per Richard Barrett who has been a leading proponent of culture work has said, 60% or more is desirable.
3) Being authentic
Having worked with many great CEOs over the years, one thing I have come to know is that they value authenticity in their managers who are going to share their honest view even if this is divergent from the CEO’s thinking.
Or as an Executive Assistant, you may not have the power to change your manager’s thinking but you still can be true to yourself and speak your thoughts and feelings; not be chameleon like or blow with the wind.
Authenticity through being one’s reliable and consistent self helps build TRUST and RESPECT as people get to know each other and can rely on this knowledge to achieve mutual objectives faster.
Jasbindar Singh is a Business Psychologist, Leadership Coach, Blogger and Speaker. She specialises in leading with emotional intelligence. Contact Jasbindar via firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://jasbindarsingh.com/.
You can also find Jasbindar on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Jasbindar is available to speak at conferences on emotional intelligence.