Which creates more effective leadership: Control or influence? As leaders in the print industry we can control our team for a while by using fear, threatening their jobs, continually beating them up, etc.
However, this will only work for just so long. You will win their minds but not their hearts. To win their hearts we must find ways to influence them to go in the direction you want them to go.
Influence wins minds and hearts whereas control just wins the mind, and only temporarily.
Here are five ways you can improve your leadership by influencing people:
How to Improve Leadership by Influence
1. Develop Great Communication Skills
People skilled in leadership influence others using their communication skills. We need to develop good writing and verbal skills to influence people, and get them heading in the right direction.
We also may need other skills such as presentation skills, public speaking skills, etc.
2. Clearly State the Vision or Goal and Personalize It
In the print business, if we want to influence others to move in a particular direction we need to clearly state what that direction is, why we are going in that direction, and what it will mean to them personally when we reach that destination.
If your team understands what the goal means to them as individuals, then they will be motivated to accept the challenge and move on it.
You will have influenced them in that direction.
3. Describe the Plan and Each Person’s Work
Once we lay out the vision or goal for our print business we need to create a plan for achieving it.
Leadership professionals may decide it would be best to lay out the plan with their team’s input. Describe the plan in detailed steps and assign the work to various team members so they clearly understand their work and contribution.
Again, by involving your team in the planning process, they will feel as if they have skin in the game, and you will have influenced them in the direction you want to move.
4. Thank You
There is nothing like a thank you to make people feel appreciated and needed.
By thanking people often for their work you will continually earn the right to influence them on new directions and goals for the future.
5. Remember: Everyone is a Volunteer
I learned this from a blog post by Michael Hyatt. If we can keep in mind that no one has to work for us or move in the direction we want him or her to go, we will work to influence our team instead of trying to control them.
Our people always have a choice to work with you or to work somewhere else. People want to work on a winning team where they are respected and appreciated for what they contribute.
To increase our leadership we need to develop influencing skills. This will move our print business along further faster than trying to control everyone.
What ways have you used to influence others to move in the direction you want them to go?
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