You Think You’re Influential? What Do Others Think?

By Diane Stafford
The Kansas City Star

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Stacey Hanke, a consultant and author specializing in the subject of influence, says influence comes from command of the facts coupled with communication.

The Kansas City Star

At a recent meeting, I shifted uncomfortably as the presenter shuffled through papers as if he hadn’t seen them before.

He spoke quietly with little expression and little conviction, and I had trouble paying attention.

What he said was actually OK, but his delivery wasn’t. If he wanted to influence me, he failed. He seemed to have no confidence, no conviction in his words.

The ability to wield influence depends a lot on in-the-moment delivery. We have to be able to deliver the message well, in tone, volume and clarity. But there’s more than that if we want people to buy in to what we say.
We need to have laid a foundation of trust and credibility.

In the workplace, it’s usually a given that titles or rank confer authority and power. Sometimes, workers simply have to go along because that’s the way it is, even if the boss seems clueless or nothing but an apple polisher of the hierarchy.

Other times, appointed leaders truly are leaders. They’re influential because they know their stuff and they have the respect of others.

We know, too, that influence often bubbles up from co-workers who have no elevated rank or title.

By day-in, day-out actions and words they have earned standing among their peers, not because they know everything, but because they know what’s important.

Stacey Hanke, a consultant and author specializing in the subject of influence, says influence comes from command of the facts coupled with communication.

A key point in Hanke’s book, “Influence Redefined: Be the Leader You Were Meant to Be, Monday to Monday,” is that influence is built on verbal and nonverbal cues. The best message in the world needs delivery to have impact.
It’s also important for the communication to be built on facts more than feelings, Hanke says.

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