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Published on December 11, 2018

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

Living a Complete Life Guru. Writing about the importance of having a well rounded life and how communication in the workplace and personal relationships plays a large role in your happinness

How to Talk to Strangers Without Feeling Awkward The Art of Building Relationships You Need to Succeed in Your Career How to Be Influential and Gain Respect at Work 7 Most Important Communication Techniques to Master in the Workplace How to Work with Different Communication Styles in the Office

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Last Updated on January 14, 2019

The Key to Finding Job Satisfaction and Having a Successful Career

The Key to Finding Job Satisfaction and Having a Successful Career

Regardless of whether you hold an entry-level administration role or regularly travel to the ends of the Earth as a hot-shot senior executive, you can still find yourself harboring an emptiness… a feeling that something is missing. A popular assumption that experiencing job satisfaction and a successful career should be underpinned by a well-rounded suite of tangible benefits, no longer holds true for many of us.

We’d never deny health care benefits, appropriate and fair remuneration, bonuses and travel perks in a job package. However, even if served to us on a silver platter, those features can only satiate us to a certain point.

You might wonder what governs entrepreneurs and start-up business owners to quit their lucrative jobs, essentially look the gift horse in the mouth and kiss such benefits goodbye! There can be an irresistible pull to mastermind a business with products and/or services that serve the greater good of community wider than that constituting their daily existence.

Even with research showing entrepreneurship to pose greater threats to their mental and physical health, this unique breed of individuals choose to go against the grain in chasing their dreams of being their own boss. Why? Why would anyone risk this type of career suicide?

Whether you’re an employee, have recently taken the leap to being a business owner or been in business for a while, the commonality is a congenital condition we all share as human beings; to feel a sense of purpose, value and contribution to our community. Despite it being harder to find this for ourselves in today’s world, these approaches will help you achieve ultimate satisfaction through the twists, turns and joyrides that are essential features of shaping a successful career.

1. Search for Opportunities That Feed Your Passion, Not Temporary Excitement

Even though well-intended, the ‘feel good now’ compass that career coaches and consultants often recommend you use to create career satisfaction can actually do you more harm than good. Excitement is transient. It doesn’t last. Passion is the compass you need.

Passion and excitement are two different things. The resounding career legacy that still draws you to turn up on the job regardless of the sunshine or storm that awaits you…that’s passion. It’s like a mental and/or emotional itch you can’t shrug off. Staying attuned to that calling will breed success for you sooner or later. Patience is key.

You’re also likely to have more than one key passion. Beware of getting caught in the notion you have to find your one true purpose. In fact, run immediately from any coach who tells you there is only one. There isn’t.

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Your passion is a journey that can take multiple forms so forget thinking there is the single dream job out there that will give you satisfaction in every way you can imagine. It simply doesn’t exist.

Consider embracing different roles and projects to help you fuel your passion or fuel your pursuits in finding it. Job satisfaction and your career success will be all the more sweeter from a wider range of enriching experiences.

2. Don’t Position Job and Career Satisfaction Assessments as Pivotal Guides to Your Success

Despite their popular use for vocational guidance, assessment tools such as Gallup’s Clifton Strengths and the Myers Briggs Type Indicator have come under fire[1] as being limited to the amount of true value and direction they can offer partakers.[2] These and many other guidance assessment tools (e.g. VIA Character Strengths , DISC ) are self-report questionnaires that don’t have normative population data against which to compare your results.

Simply remember these tools help you develop a stronger sense of what you identify as strengths and weaknesses within yourself, not in comparison with other people. They will still add insight around what sorts of career opportunities, tasks and projects are going to light your fire, what ones are going to extinguish it and what will prod and keep the coals steadily smoldering.

3. Be Clear on Your Personal Values, Ethics and Principles and Choose Relationships That Support You Honoring Them

Teamwork, collaboration, open communication and trust are commonplace for any flourishing work environment. However, whether or not your personal values can be honored in your work can make or break your job satisfaction.

How committed do you want to be to an organization that expects an average of 10 unpaid overtime hours every week under the guise of ‘reasonable overtime’? Are you willing to accept their construing this expectation as ‘strong commitment’ at the expense of your partner and children waiting at home for you? What are your boundaries concerning when you clock on to their time and when you clock off to yours?

Being very in tune with what your personal values, principles and ethics are will bid you well in the job satisfaction stakes. Spending time to reflect on experiences and working relationships you’ve had – the good, the bad and the ugly – will help you make well-informed searches and grounded decisions that will propel your career success.

Finding and nurturing relationships with associates and colleagues who share similar values doesn’t just make your day-to-day pursuits more enjoyable. You become fortunate to work with like-minded people who will support, understand and appreciate you like a second family.

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Being able to honor your personal values in your work means you will still be able to sleep at night when you have to tread where others fear to, and make extremely difficult decisions others would never ever dream of having to make as you forge success in your career.

4. Be Clear on Your Own Definition of What Having a Successful Career Means for You

It’s tempting to get caught up in the ideals and projections of success expressed by those we love, admire and respect. Underneath, we all want on some level to belong to a successful club of some sort.

With research reporting how much money we feel we need to be truly happy,[3] many of us try to subscribe to the notion that having the car of our dreams or taking a European holiday annually will not bring us happiness. The truth, however, for many of us is these tangible rewards are congratulatory reminders of our persistent efforts to chase our career pursuits.

If those are things you aspire to, don’t let anyone steal your desire and want to feel deserving of these things, that those are some parameters by which you define your career success.

Despite consistently being the top revenue earner for two years running, you may not wish to become the sales manager. You may not wish to step out into running your own business even though you consistently excel as an employee, delighting clients and repeatedly receiving glowing testimonials.

Your definition of career success might be enjoying the predictability of a regular workplace routine. You get to leave – without feeling guilty – at the same time each day, love the people you work with and get to spend a good, uninterrupted amount of work-stress free quality time with your family. That picture is also blissful job satisfaction and complete career success.

5. Identify the Sorts of Challenges and Problems You Want to Learn to Overcome

Standard advice you might receive from a career coach might be to look for opportunities where you get to capitalize on exercising your strengths and career-related activities you enjoy.

However, to become a success at anything involves improvement. To excel at anything often involves stepping outside boundaries and comfort zones where others wouldn’t. This means dedicating focus and attention to things you’re not so good at and things you don’t like.

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Here’s where working with a coach can be particularly helpful. Map out the experiences that were unsavory in your working history. Were there challenges you opted out of, projects you failed at or toxic relationships that blasted your sense of purpose and self-worth into oblivion? It’s within these experiences that you might just find the most valuable lessons and guiding lights for your trajectory to achieve greater job satisfaction.

If your natural leadership style is to be a collaborator, finding opportunities that require you to apply a more dictatorial style might be needed. Discussing a secondment or short-term project where you get to develop and test your skills can be a step further in earning contention to lead a larger project down the track.

With several of the company’s boldest personality types penciled to roll out the operation, you’ll not only develop skills that earn your right to throw your hat in the ring; those key players have an opportunity to see your competence. You can then work on building relationships with those stakeholders before you need to hit the ground running should you win the lead.

Greater job satisfaction comes with planning and choosing the lessons and opportunities you want to learn, not desperately flailing, floundering and hoping for the best.

6. Keep Reviewing Your Goal Posts and Be Amenable to Change

The word ‘career’ is indicative of a longer-term pathway of change, growth and development. The journey is dynamic.

You will accumulate new skills and let those you no longer need, become rusty. Your intrigue will be stimulated by new experiences, knowledge and people you meet. Your thinking will continue to expand, not shrink. As a result, your goalposts are likely to change.

A major part of enjoying a successful career is not just setting goals effectively, but regularly reviewing and readjusting them where necessary. However, moving the posts or the target still needs to take place by applying the same processes by which you originally created them. The strength of your emotional connection to those revised goals needs to be the same, if not stronger.

By asking yourself the following questions, you can assure your developmental and growth trajectory is still on course:

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  • Would working toward these goals still allow me to honor my personal values, principles and ethics at the same capacity if not greater?
  • Do the activities I need to undertake to meet these goals honor my highest priorities?
  • Does this feel right for me and those who are nearest and dearest to me?
  • Is this aligned with my passion?
  • Is chasing this goal a right step for me to take now or is this a detour or distraction which could delay my greater plan?

Each of your career goals should have different review periods. Whatever you do, stick to the review schedule you set. It will not only keep you focused but help you see your progress (or lack thereof) and allow you to timely re-chart your course before you get too far down the track. You don’t want to waste time haphazardly heading in the wrong direction.

7. Be Prepared to Let Go

It can be unfathomable to us as to why others risk leaping into the unknown when everything truly appears fine and dandy in the career realm. The company provided stability, recognition, financial success, interesting projects and the promise of a promotion…what was wrong? Why now jump sideways to run a café or train in another field altogether?

Nothing may have been wrong at all. It was all going right. It was just the end of a chapter. Perhaps the yearning for the next step is actually taking a different trajectory entirely. You may want to simply experience a different rhythm. Perhaps it’s time to pursue a different passion.

If you have leaped from employee-land to freelancing or have made the reverse-jump (or you know someone who has), you will have quickly grown a different appreciation for pros and cons each work lifestyle brings. Working for yourself can bring the greater realization of your creativity, whether or not it can be monetized to earn you a living.

When your customers are buying you or a product you designed and fashioned, there is a direct level of appreciation and gratitude that can elevate your confidence in the way you have never experienced as an employee, regardless of your rank.

Similarly, there are times where we need to recognize our business ventures were adventures, not long-term life-changing empires. There are times we need to recognize that time is what provides the clearest limitation of how long we persist for in such pursuits.

We have to recognize the absence of enough financial, mental, emotional and physical breadcrumbs that tells us we’re no longer meant to push in that direction. At least, not for the present time.

The Bottom Line

Above all, keep the momentum. As long as you remain committed to pursuing work opportunities that allow you to honor your highest priorities, the truth of who you are and what you stand for, achieving ultimate job satisfaction and a successful career will never be too far away.

More Resources to Help Advance Your Career

Featured photo credit: Csaba Balazs via unsplash.com

Reference

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