The ability to influence others is a tool that will support leaders and other high achievers to create excellence in their careers and all parts of life. Joey Klein, CEO of Inner Matrix Systems, considered an expert in the inner game of performance, has trained business leaders worldwide to artfully develop their potential to influence an organization’s direction. Here he shares some guiding principles to promote the ability to influence others.
Gone are the days when the boss could wield influence only because they signed the paycheck at the end of the month. In those days, work was transactional. Employees would show up at work for a specified number of hours and do what they were told to do, often with no questions asked.
Fortunately for everyone, the workplace has evolved significantly since the days of transactional labor. Modern workers look for a role within an organization that provides a sense of fulfillment and the opportunity to contribute to the company’s success. Businesses reach new heights by creating a vision that is shared across the organization. This new paradigm makes it crucial that modern leaders learn to effectively influence without reverting to a transactional relationship.
A leader’s ability to influence others is dependent on trust. Unlike coercion, influence is given, not taken. To coerce someone implies that you take away or diminish their ability to choose. On the other hand, influence is accomplished by creating an environment where the person decides to contribute and serve because it meets their own personal objectives as well as that of the business. Employees will not allow themselves to be influenced by someone they do not trust. They must have confidence that their leader has their best interests in mind.
Unlike manipulation, influence must be authentic. Most people have an innate ability to sense — even when they cannot articulate it — when someone is being inauthentic or disingenuous. To manipulate is to create a false set of facts or circumstances to get someone to comply with your wishes. On the other hand, influence is characterized by the aphorism “a rising tide lifts all boats.”
To increase their ability to influence others genuinely, leaders should learn to internalize these principles:
- Always be honest, authentic, and even vulnerable, but not manipulative, coercive, or weak.
- Never self-aggrandize but regularly promote the capabilities of others on your team.
- Always look for opportunities to expand your sphere of influence by increasing the reach of your network. This includes mentoring others and serving the community in which you live.
- Embrace and teach others to thrive within today’s organizational complexities. We live in a world of messy org charts, filled with dotted lines and shared responsibilities. Your influence can grow horizontally in this environment.
Above all, when learning to increase your ability to influence others, remember that there is no faster way to undermine yourself than to be perceived as someone that wields that influence only to step on those that willingly follow you.
About Inner Matrix Systems
Inner Matrix Systems, based in Denver, is a personal mastery training system for high achievers. For more than twenty years, IMS has delivered a proprietary methodology that rewires, trains, and aligns the nervous system, emotions, and thought strategies to create real-life results. CEO, Joey Klein, and IMS have worked with more than 80,000 individuals from around the world through both live and online training programs, as well as one-on-one coaching. Clients have included: Boeing, IBM, Dell, Google, Panda Express, Coca Cola and The World Health Organization. Joey is the author of The Inner Matrix: Leveraging the Art & Science of Personal Mastery to Create Real Life Results (June 2021).