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How to Be Influential and Gain Respect at Work

How to Be Influential and Gain Respect at Work

We all want to be respected at work. Respected for what we accomplish. Respected for our input and ideas. It’s a great feeling to know that we are contributing in a meaningful way that gains the respect of others.

It’s also important to be able to be influential at work as well from time to time. When we have the ability to influence others at work, it can help us accomplish personal career goals as well as business goals. This will then lead to being respected as well. In this article we will look at how to be influential and gain respect at work.

In this article, we will look into how to be influential and gain respect at work.

The Perks of Being Influential at Work

One of the primary traits of top leaders in the workplace is the ability to influence others. Influencing others may have you thinking of a pushy salesman. Someone who is trying to influence you into buying something. The reality is being able to influence others, especially at work, is hugely beneficial for a number of reasons.

When you can be influential at work, it helps you achieve key objectives. If you have to get others on board to move a project forward, you need to be able to influence.

When you influence, you are able to convey key points to the people you work with. You can explain to them how something will benefit the company — might be something that is good for the company, your customers, or the employees. In any case, your ability to show those benefits to others you work with, will help you be influential to achieve your objectives and goals.

Besides influencing others to help the company, it’s also good for your personal growth, development, and success. You will be able to influence your way to getting the tools and resources you need to be successful.

Remember, you are in charge of your career. No one will do it for you.

Why Being Respected at Work Is Important

The benefits of being respected at work are wide ranging. When you are respected, others give your opinion heavier gravity. Plainly stated, when you speak, others listen and pay attention. This works hand in hand with being influential.

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If you think about it, when you are respected, it automatically generates the ability to influence others with your opinion.

Of course respect isn’t just given anywhere. Not at work, not in any relationships with others. Respect is something that must be earned. It’s earned by doing what you say you are going to do.

How To Be Influential At Work

Consistently achieving good results will earn you ongoing respect. Standing up for what’s right will always earn others respect as well. Leading others through difficult times and projects will gain you respect.

Let’s look at how to be influential at work and gain others respect.

1. Build Your Connections

Even though we aren’t in high school anymore, it’s always a good idea to build connections. When you work at building connections with others, they remember you for it.

People are much more willing to be influenced by you if they like you. Conversely, if people don’t like you very much, they won’t necessarily want to go along with the things you are wanting them to.

Make friends and build connections.

2. Make Sure You Listen

I’ve mentioned this in other articles on communication. Half of communicating is listening. In this case, listening to others and let them know you care what they say.

You are listening to what’s important to them and they will remember that. And if you can incorporate what is important to others into your plans of action, that will be hugely beneficial to you and your strategy. It helps you gain more and more support if it benefits more people.

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3. Paint a Great Picture

When you can paint a clear picture of what you are wanting, it helps others to see it. This is especially true if you are working towards a large end goal.

When you can show others in a clear positive light what the end game looks like, it will be very beneficial in helping you get what you are wanting. Others will be able to see how this project, goal or vision will be; and how it will benefit the company or customers or employees.

Being able to share the concept so others can see it clearly is incredibly beneficial.

4. Connect Emotionally

There is nothing wrong with having facts and figures to help make your point. Something to keep in mind is that while many people like to see graphs and numbers to help make a decision, connecting with people emotionally will help you be more influential.

Most people like to feel a bond with others. It’s what makes us feel like we want to help others out. This isn’t to say you have to be best buddies with everyone in the office. What it is referring to is that, the ability to connect on an emotional level with others will help you gain their support in your quests at the office.

5. Build Your Credibility

Think about the last time you chose to listen to a speaker. Maybe it was a motivational speaker or you signed up for a “how to make money flipping houses” type seminar. Probably one of the main reasons why you chose to invest your time attending the speech or seminar, was because you believed the speaker to be very knowledgeable in whatever area they were talking about.

The same concept holds true in the workplace. Your fellow coworkers are much more likely to be influenced by you if you are seen as an expert in your area. With that in mind, make sure you are constantly working to improve your knowledge and get better and better.

By showing others that you are an expert in a certain area, you will be building your credibility which will help you influence when needed.

6. Know Office Politics

Office politics

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are nearly everywhere. That doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing. The key thing to know is how things really work in your office or company.

Sometimes, the person whose title puts them at the top of the food chain isn’t really in charge. Many times, it’s of higher value from an influencing standpoint if you know all the executive assistants well.

Or something I have found is that the IT folks are great to know. They typically have the inside scoop on what’s going on with different folks because of some of the access to information they have.

Knowing who is headed up and who is headed out can be great knowledge to help you when it’s time to be influential.

7. Work Hard and Be Consistent

Being a consistent hard worker and performer will gain you respect which in turn will help you be influential at work.

I want to make something clear:

When I say work hard, I don’t want you to assume working 12 hour days everyday. You can spend a lot of time working on low level tasks that nobody really cares about. If there is an automated or easier way to do less impactful tasks, then by all means do that. That’s called working smarter.

What I am referring to is putting in consistent, quality effort and work. When I was in retail, I worked for a manager that rarely was in his office and was always helping out where needed. I also worked for a manager who never left his office and rarely interacted with the employees. Guess who I respected more?

8. Help Others Succeed

Helping others succeed is a surefire way to gain respect and will help you be influential at work. When you take the time to help others succeed, it sure makes a huge difference to that person.

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When I moved into the corporate world a little over 10 years ago, I had a lot to learn. There are 2 people in particular who were always there for me. They answered my questions, pointed me in the right direction, and helped out when needed. One of them turned out to be the best mentor I ever had. The other is someone that I still stay in contact with and earned my respect long ago. When that person needs my help with something, you can bet I am there.

Both of those people earned my respect because they were there for me and my success was important to them. When they were in their influencing mode, you know I was in their corner, doing what I could to help them get what they needed.

Conclusion

We’ve taken a look at how to be influential and gain respect at work. The ability to be influential and to have respect at work go hand in hand. You have to have gained some measure of respect at work to be influential. And the ability to be influential at work will help you gain respect as well. The reason being is in both cases you are viewed as someone who can get things done.

Being influential and gaining respect at work helps you in many ways. It will help you in your own personal development and career path. It will also help you to achieve success on big projects or in other company goals.

If you’d like to increase your ability to be influential at work, take a look at what we’ve covered here and see if you can put some of them into action.

Your company and yourself will thank you.

More Resources About Boosting Your Influencing Skills

Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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Mat Apodaca

On a mission to share about how communication in the workplace and personal relationships plays a large role in your happiness

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Last Updated on November 3, 2020

How to Use the Prioritization Matrix When Every Task is #1

How to Use the Prioritization Matrix When Every Task is #1

It takes being productive to get things done correctly and on time. So how do you know which tasks are essential and which can wait? The answer is in the Prioritization Matrix, also known as the Eisenhower Matrix.

The matrix took its name after Dwight David Eisenhower.

Eisenhower was a general in the US army and the 34th President of the United States from 1953 to 1961. As a five-star general and a Supreme Commander in the US Army, he drafted the strategy for an Allied invasion of Europe.[1]

Eisenhower had to make tough decisions every time about which tasks to prioritize out of many he needed to focus on daily. So, he came up with the famous Eisenhower Matrix, or the Prioritization Matrix.

What Is the Prioritization Matrix?

The Prioritization Matrix is a tool for rating your tasks based on urgency. It helps you know the critical activities and those tasks that you should bypass and can be useful in project management, small businesses, or personal tasks.

Eisenhower famously said of the matrix:

“Most tasks that are urgent are not important, and most tasks that are important are not urgent.”

This quote became the maxim for Eisenhower in managing his time.

There are four quadrants in the Prioritization Matrix, which help in comparing choices of what to do first and last, allowing you to prioritize projects and create strategic plan[2].

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Eisenhower Matrix Template

    The quadrants are:

    • Do
    • Schedule
    • Delegate
    • Eliminate

    Do

    Do is the first quadrant in the Prioritization Matrix, and it incorporates important activities. That is, those tasks you need to carry out urgently — crises, deadlines, and issues that need your urgent attention and are highly relevant to your life mission.

    Hw do you know which task falls into this quadrant?

    Start by analyzing your priorities, and then establish if it falls within the ‘do it now’ criteria. If the task is achievable within a day, or within 24 to 48 hours, it’s urgent.

    Another approach you can adopt in prioritizing tasks in this category is to adopt the “eat the frog” principle by Mark Twain. This principle recommends that you do the most urgent activities as soon as you wake up.

    Here’s a practical example.

    Let’s say you need to draft a content strategy and submit a report to your manager. It’s Saturday, and the deadline for submission is Monday. Can we say the activity is urgent? Definitely!

    Schedule

    The second quadrant of the prioritization matrix is Schedule. The Prioritization Matrix classifies tasks in this category as important but not that urgent.

    They are long-term objectives and tasks with no immediate deadline. Those tasks could include meditation, journaling, studying, family time, and exercising.

    You can plan out activities in this quadrant for some other period. For instance, you should exercise for good health, but you can allocate time to do it.

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    Schedule these activities in such a way that they don’t transfer to the “Do” or “Urgent” quadrant. Ensure you have sufficient time to carry them out.

    Delegate

    The third quadrant of the prioritization matrix is Delegate.

    These tasks are not important to you but are quite urgent for others. This is where teamwork comes into play.

    You can technically perform tasks in this category, but it makes sense to delegate them. Delegating tasks will ensure you have more time to pursue activities in your first two quadrants.

    You should also monitor the tasks you have delegated. It will only amount to a sheer waste of time if you don’t have a tracking system for delegated tasks.

    Eliminate

    The last quadrant highlights your productivity killers. They are tasks that are not important to your goals and not urgent. The only way to boost your productivity is to eliminate them.

    Some examples are constantly checking your phone, watching movies, or playing video games.

    They could also be bad habits that you need to identify and delete from your daily and weekly schedule.

    Successful people have learned how to prioritize and stick to what’s important. They have learned to find a better person for a task or eliminate less significant tasks.

    Let’s consider two inspiring personalities that have designed their prioritization system.

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    Warren Buffet developed a two-list prioritization model to determine which task deserves his best attention. The bottom line is bypassing things that are important and useful but not top of the priorities.

    Mark Ford, a business advisor, marketer, self-made millionaire, and author devised his strategy:

    “Start work on the most crucial priority, take a break, work on the second most important task, take a break, then sort out the less important activities and any tasks he received from other individuals by afternoon.” [3]

    How to Use The Prioritization Matrix

    Using the Prioritization Matrix can be tricky if you’re new at it, but by following a few simple steps, you can learn to utilize it in the best way possible.

    1. List and Rank Your Priorities

    Highlight all the tasks you need to carry out in a day. Then, classify them with weighted criteria based on urgency and importance.

    Identify any activity that requires prompt action. I’m referring to a task that if you don’t complete that day, it could produce a grave consequence. For instance, if you don’t submit your content strategy, other content writers cannot work. It means you need to check for high-priority dependencies.

    2. Define the Value

    The next step is to examine the importance and assess which of them impacts your business or organization the most. As a rule of thumb, you can check which tasks possess higher priority over others. For instance, you need to attend to client’s requirements before you take care of any internal work.

    You can also estimate value by examining how the task impacts the people and customers in the organization. In a nutshell, the more impact a task has on people or the organization, the higher the priority.

    3. Take out the Most Challenging Task

    Procrastination is not a symptom of laziness, but avoidance is. The truth is that you will typically avoid tasks you don’t want to do. The former CEO of Goldman Sachs, Lloyd Blankfein, once said he would take out the most dreaded task first thing when he got to the office.

    Brian Tracy called these tasks the frogs you need to eat. That will remove the nagging dread, which mounts pressure on you when you postpone necessary tasks[4]. This is where the Prioritization Matrix can help; eat the “Do” frogs immediately.

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    If you need help overcoming procrastination, check out this article.

    4. Know What’s Important to You

    As long as you are in this cosmos, you will always encounter different choices that may be contradictory to your goals. For instance, a fantastic promotion that requires excessive travel will isolate you from important relationships. If you are not priority-conscious, you may accept it, even though your family is your priority.

    Therefore, it makes sense to identify what is important to you and to prepare yourself not to compromise those important things for immediate pleasure or gain.

    Yogi Berra captioned it this way:

    “If you do not know your destination, you might end up somewhere else.”

    5. Establish Regular “No Work” Time

    YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki established a rule not to check her emails between 6 pm and 9 pm. According to a CNN Business report, she was the first woman to request maternity leave when Google just got started. She prioritizes dinner time with her family despite being the CEO of YouTube[5].

    Is it possible to cut out time for our relationships and interests outside of work?

    Of course, and that’s why you need to set out your “no work” time. This approach will enable you to renew your energy levels for the next task. Also, you will be in the best position to introspect as you are not in your usual work zone.

    6. Know When to Stop

    You can achieve everything on your list sometimes. After you have prioritized your workload and assessed your estimates, remove the remaining tasks from your priority list and focus on your most urgent and important tasks.

    Conclusion

    It’s not enough to be successful at work. Ensure you make out time for your family and an important relationship in your life.

    Getting started and finding time may be tricky, but with some practice using the Prioritization Matrix, you’ll find that you are more productive and better able to divide your time between the things that are important to you.

    More Tips on Prioritizing

    Featured photo credit: William Iven via unsplash.com

    Reference

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