Advertising
Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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

More by this author

Mat Apodaca

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

10 Best Interview Questions (With Great Answer Examples) 7 Keys to Effective Listening How to Use the Law of Reciprocity for Effective Persuasion 7 Ways Self-Disclosure Helps You Connect Deeper with Others How to Practice Active Listening (A Step-By-Step Guide)

Trending in Smartcut

1 Feeling Stuck in Your Career? How to Break Free and Get Ahead 2 How to Change Careers When It Seems Too Late 3 7 Steps to Achieve Career Success on Your Own Terms 4 The Definitive Guide to Get out of Debt Fast (and Forever) 5 How to Prevent Decision Fatigue From Clouding Your Judgement

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on July 10, 2020

Feeling Stuck in Your Career? How to Break Free and Get Ahead

Feeling Stuck in Your Career? How to Break Free and Get Ahead

Have you ever caught yourself in a daydream where you’ve gone for that upcoming promotion, and you’re now the boss at work? Or how about the one where you’ve summoned up all your courage to quit a job where you’re feeling stuck in your career and live your dream instead? Or when you’ve changed career paths to do what really makes you happy?

Then, you snapped back to reality and realized that you’re not the boss, not living your dream, and not even happy in the career path that you’re on.

Over the years I’ve worked with hundreds of individuals who’ve told me they feel stuck in their careers, that something had to change for them to break free and be happy, but they lacked the confidence to take that step. My mission is to make sure that nobody feels stuck in their career because of a momentary lapse in bravery that’s dragged on for too long.

Read on to find out how you can stop feeling stuck in your career, break free, and get ahead at work. .

Here are my top ten tips for becoming unstuck in your career.

1. Make Time for You

If you’re feeling stuck, frustrated, or unhappy with how your career is panning out, the first step is to work out why.

Maybe you’ve arrived in your current career by accident and haven’t ever made time to deliberately think or plan what you’d love to do and how you’d get there.

Prioritizing time to think is the first step you need to take to stop feeling stuck and start getting ahead. Book some time into your day where you can have an uninterrupted meeting with yourself. This is your thinking time.

Work out what makes you happy at work, what doesn’t, and where you might want to go. Decide on the steps you want to take to progress your career in the direction that you want it to take.

For example, are there training days, evening courses, or online learning that you can do? Have you considered getting a mentor to help you get ahead?

By booking in a meeting with yourself, it signals it’s important (to you and your colleagues) and also stops others spotting a gap in your day and filling it with a meeting.

Advertising

2. Grow Your Network Before You Need It

Who you know is more important than what you know for career progression. Don’t wait until you’re feeling stuck in your career to start expanding your networks. Do it now.

Adam Grant, the author of Give and Take, says you’re 58% more likely to get a new job through your weak ties than through your strong ones. Your strong ties are those in your immediate circle whom you interact with often. Your weak ties are your friends of friends. They move in different circles to you, they know different people, make different connections, and are more likely to introduce you to new and different opportunities[1].

When I was thinking about setting up my current company, Lucidity, I turned up to every networking event. I drank a lot of coffees with a lot of different people to understand what they did, to ask for advice, to unpick what their problems were, and to look for opportunities for collaboration and connections.

It paid off because, when I launched my business, I let my network know how I could help them, and soon I had my first clients.

Pay attention to building and nurturing your networks and focus on how you can add value to other. That’s where your next career opportunity is most likely to come from.

3. Surround Yourself With People Who Inspire You

According to Tim Ferriss, “You are the average of the five people you most associate with,” and his associations with different people ebbs and flows depending on what he’s working on and trying to achieve[2].

For example, if you are trying to be fitter, it’s easier if you hang around with people who love doing exercise–they help you to up your game.

If you want that promotion, a career change, or to set up your own business, seek out people who are excelling at it already. They’ll have valuable things to teach you about breaking free and getting ahead.

4. Work on Your Personal Brand

Jeff Bezos defines a personal brand as “what people say about you when you’re not in the room.” People will talk about you when you are not in the room anyway, so you might as well be deliberate about what you’d like people to say!

Your personal brand isn’t about pretending to be something you’re not. That can actually keep you feeling stuck in your career. It’s really about being your best “real you.” It’s about owning your strengths and being purposeful about how you want to be perceived by others.

What do you want to be known for? By being more deliberate about how you want to come across and what you’re looking for in your career, you’ll increase your chance of attracting the right opportunities.

Advertising

Once you’ve given your personal brand some thought, make sure that you show up online. Is your LinkedIn profile up to date? And if you don’t have one, get one. Make sure it communicates what you want to be known for and that it’s consistent with your other social media profiles.

Try these 5 Steps to Master Networking Skills and Perfect Your Personal Branding.

5. Be Accountable

Achieve your career goals faster, and grow and learn by making yourself accountable. Tell other people your goals and a timeline. and have them to hold you accountable.

For example, you might want to get a promotion by the end of the year, have decided the sector you want to move to by the end of the month, or have got your new business idea before the next pay day. Whatever your ambitions are, you can tell a friend or a colleague, or share this with a mentor or a mastermind group.

When we tell other people our goals and intentions, they hold us accountable, and we are more likely to make progress faster.

6. Make Sure Your Values Are Aligned With Your Company’s

All the professional development, goal setting, and networks in the world won’t make you happy if you’re working for a company that ultimately has opposing values to yours.

Figure out what’s important to you in a job. For example, does your company’s product help people live a better life? Do you feel strongly about your company’s ethics and social responsibility? Does the company culture allows employees to be themselves and shine? Or maybe flexible working and more holidays for employees with families is where your heart is?

Some companies put their employees well-being at the core of their business; others put profits first. If you feel that your values don’t match the core values of your employer, it could be a reason why you’re feeling stuck in your career and unhappy.

It’s important to work through this and identify whether it’s the job that is not right for you, or if it’s a great job but the organization or sector is wrong for you.

7. Get out of Your Comfort Zone

Your comfort zone is your safe place. For any change to happen, you have to step out of your comfort zone.

It’s actually much easier not to change anything and to keep grumbling on about how you’re stuck and unhappy in your career than to step outside of your comfort zone to address the fearful unknowns associated with change. It’s part of human nature that we’d put up with the devil we know rather than risk the devil we don’t.

Advertising

This is true even if the devil we know is a boring, unfulfilling job because we’re wired to think that making a change to find a better option might actually leave us worse off.

If you feel stuck, it might be that your confidence has got the better of you.

To get ahead at work, start taking small steps outside of your comfort zone. Consider what you’re scared of that is stopping you from making a change. Then, tackle that in small steps.

For example, if you know that to move into the job you want, you’ll have to do more public speaking, but public speaking terrifies you so much it’s stopping you from going for the job, then start small to build your confidence. You can speak up more in team meetings, then slowly build from there.

You might also choose to set up or be part of a specific group. One of my clients, who found that confidence was holding her team back in achieving work goals, set up a “get out of your comfort zone club,” where they challenge and support each other to build their confidence by regularly leaving their comfort zones.

8. Learn to Embrace Failure

Failure is part of life. A New York University study found that children learning to walk averaged 2,368 steps and fell 17 times an hour[3]. Failure is simply the natural path to success.

The truth is that we don’t get everything right the first time. We fail, we learn, we pick ourselves up, and we try again.

In my experience, it’s common that whilst the theory of learning from failure is supported, the reality of being open about failures to enable personal learning is much harder to achieve.

We don’t like to admit that we’ve failed. We have a fight or flight response to failure. It’s a normal gut reaction to ask ourselves: “Will I get away with it if I don’t tell anyone?” We are fearful of criticism, of losing face in front of others, or even being fired for failure.

However, if you’re going to stop feeling stuck in your career, you must be open to learning from failure.

Reframe failure by viewing everything as an experiment because you can’t have a failed experiment—you just learn whether something works or not. Think of Edison inventing the lightbulb, when he said:

Advertising

“I’ve not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

9. Build Your Resilience

Resilience is the ability to tackle difficulties and setbacks, to bounce back, regroup, and to keep going.

Getting unstuck in your career, taking a different path, and achieving the results you want will take resilience. Having resilience is also the capacity to choose how you respond to the unexpected things that life throws your way and adapt and thrive in times of complex change.

Given that the world we live in is in constant flux, and the only thing that is certain is uncertainty, the ability to adapt and bounce back is an important life skill, as well as a career skill.

In her book Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, Angela Duckworth’s research shows that when measuring success, the ability to persevere beats talent every time.

Learn more about how to build resilience in this guide: What Is Resilience and How to Always Be Resilient (Step-By-Step Guide)

10. Ask for Help

It can be hard to ask for help, as it can make us feel vulnerable.

No one person can be expected to have all the answers. That’s why we need a group of people that we can go to for help, people who can pick us up when we have setbacks and also help us to celebrate success.

My advice is to be deliberate about creating your group. You can do that with a tool called a “Me Map”:

  1. Write down all the things that you might need support with, like help with career progression, interview practice, making new connections, talking through business plans, learning from failure, etc.
  2. Next to each thing, write the names of the people you go to when you need that particular thing.
  3. Make sure you get in touch and regularly connect with them.

Final Thoughts

You can stop feeling stuck in your career, break free, and get ahead at work by applying the tips in this article. Start small by incorporating three new things in your first week, and then adding more as your comfort zone and capacity expands.

Remember, no matter how stuck you feel, it’s never too late to make a change and land the career that you truly want.

More Tips to Stop Feeling Stuck in Your Career

Featured photo credit: NEW DATA SERVICES via unsplash.com

Reference

Read Next