Earning influence in the workplace is essential no matter what your role. When you are able to articulate your position and convince others of its merits, you will find yourself in a better position to move up and to be more fulfilled at work. For those who are not natural extroverts, wielding power and influence in the workplace can seem all but impossible -- but it isn't. With a little understanding about what it means the be influential and a few key communication tips, nearly anyone can find the influence they crave and make their work experience that much better.
Put the "I" in Influence
The language that you use when talking to coworkers and employees is important in becoming an influential force. When asking for something you need, particularly if it involves a change in someone else's behavior, utilizing "I statements" can be a very effective tactic. That means focusing on how the behavior or action is affecting you, your feelings, and your productivity. Speaking in this manner is the best way to avoid an accusatory tone since accusations and attacks are hardly the best way to get things done.
Earning power and influence in the workplace is about taking a leadership role at work, no matter what your title. One of the best ways to earn respect as a leader is to be ready to share your enthusiasm for your company at every turn. If you are not passionate about your job and the values of your organization, it will be much more difficult to convince those around you to listen. Enthusiasm and passion do not just mean showing up every day or organizing happy hours - but working hard consistently with a genuine vested interest in the outcome of your projects. These actions will go a long way towards showing others that you are a capable leader and influencer.
Listen Before You Speak
If influence is what you crave, it can be easy to think you have to spend all your time talking fast and convincing others of your ideas. But the best way to cultivate influence is by listening as much (or more!) than you speak. When you listen to those around you, you show them that you care about their opinions and voice. When you allow them to influence you, they are more likely to listen when you have your own ideas.
Hiring managers and expert executive recruiters would do well to look for prospects who have the desire to find their influential voice at the workplace. These people are the ones that will make the biggest difference at an organization and do it in a way that builds everyone up.