Tag: Influence

Making an Impact as Team Leader

Making an Impact as Team Leader

Some people stand out, while others fade into the background. But if you want to make the most of interpersonal relationships, you have to be able to leave a lingering positive impression on your team.

Related: Leadership Outcome Based Team Building Activities

Creating a Powerful First Impression

You’ve probably heard this saying before: you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.

In today’s fast-paced world, you have to maximize the time and opportunities you get with the people that you meet. The following are some tips in creating a powerful first impression:

Dress to impress. Beauty is within, but this doesn’t mean that people don’t make conclusions about you based on your appearance. If you want to create a great first impression make sure that you look your best. Whenever you’re presenting yourself to other people, be clean, well-groomed and dressed in clothes that fit and within the prescribed dress code

Be positive. Nobody likes to talk to cranky, irritable, and pessimistic people! Instead, people are drawn to those who smile a lot and radiate a pleasant disposition. If you want to be remembered, make them feel welcomed and appreciated. A positive experience is as easy to remember as a negative one!

Communicate your confidence. Powerful first impressions are those that show you are self-assured, competent, and purposive. Always establish eye contact with the people you are talking to. Shake hands firmly. Speak in a deliberate and purposive way.

Be yourself! Meeting people for the first time can be extremely anxiety-provoking, but do your best to act naturally. People are more responsive to those who don’t come across as if they’re putting on a front or are very controlled. Let your personality engage the other person.

Go for the extra mile. Do more than the usual that can make you stand out from the rest.

Assessing a Situation

All interpersonal skills involve sensitivity to what is going on around, especially what is happening with the people you are interacting with. After all, context variables, such as timing and location, can change the meaning of a communication. You want to make sure that you are not just saying the right thing, but you are saying the right thing at the right moment.

If you want to make an impact, you have to factor in the situation.

The following are some tips in assessing the situation:

Listen, not just to what is being said, but also to what is NOT being said.  An excellent interpersonal skill to master is a keen observing eye. You have to be able to note the body language of the people around you in order for you to be able to respond appropriately. For example, there is body language that says “go on, we like what you’re saying.” There is also body language that says “I don’t want to hear that right now.”

Related: Communication Outcome Based Team Building Activities

Identify needs. A second way to assess the situation is to ask yourself: what does this social occasion need right now? A newly formed team, for example, likely has members who still don’t know one another. The need then is for someone to help break the ice. A team that is tired from a long working day probably needs an opportunity to relax and unwind. Knowing these needs can help you respond to them more appropriately.

Practice etiquette. Etiquette may seem like a useless bunch of rules to some people but they serve a purpose: they tell you what are generally considered as acceptable and unacceptable for certain situations. It helps then that you know basic etiquette rules so that you don’t make a faux pas that can ruin the great first impression that you made.

Being Zealous without Being Offensive

Enthusiasm, diligence, and persistence are all great virtues to have, especially if you’re in the business of creating social networks. However, you have to be careful that your persevering doesn’t cross the line to pestering — or worse harassing the person.

The following are some tips in being zealous without being offensive:

Focus on what is important to the other person. Being “other-centered” is the best way to monitor your own eagerness to make contact with other people. Before you do something, make that habit of asking yourself: does this action address the need of the other person, or is it merely addressing my need?

Respect boundaries. Everyone has personal boundaries, and it would do us well to respect them. Not seeing clients without an appointment is an example of a boundary. The same goes for not accepting calls during the weekend or past regular office hours. Work within these boundaries, and you’ll be able to communicate your courtesy. And if you don’t know what a person’s boundaries are, you have nothing to lose in asking!

Make requests, not demands. As mentioned previously, we can always do our best to persuade and influence other people, but we can’t force them to do what they don’t want to do. So always courteously ask for permission, and verify agreement. And if they say no —- then accept the no as an answer, unless you have something new to offer.

Note non-verbal behavior. Similar to the tip in the previous section, always be guided by the other person’s non-verbal response to you. If you find that they are already showing irritation — example they speak in a gruff, annoyed tone when talking to you —- then perhaps it’s time to back off. But if they appear open to you — they look at you with interest while you speak — then it’s advisable to go on.



How to Improve your Ability to Influence your Team

How to Improve your Ability to Influence your Team

The ability to positively influence your team is a valuable asset to have. In this article, we will be looking at ways to improve your influencing skills.

Looking at the Situation from the Team Member’s Perspective

The first step towards influencing other people is setting aside your own point of view, and looking at the situation from the other person’s perspective. Each person sees the world in their own unique way. Do not assume what is clear to you is clear to another person.

To influence your team you have to know what is important to them; what are their interests, values and preferences. Do they have strong feelings against what you are suggesting? What would it take to get them over their resistance? Seeing the situation from your team member’s perspective involves research, active listening and keen observation.

Building a Bridge

Bridge building is another skill that can help you influence your team members. Bridge building is the process of increasing rapport and affinity between people. It involves gaining the trust of your team, identifying common interest and making them feel at ease talking to you. Bridge building is extremely helpful in persuasion as people are more likely to agree with someone they like and trust. Bridges also serve as negotiating grounds, and common interests can be the foundation of win-win scenarios.

The following are some methods you can use to build bridges with your team members:

  • Active Listening – It is important to listen attentively to your team members in order to gain their trust and communicate to them that you value their presence.
  • Use Common Language – Pay attention to how the other person talks to you, if they are formal, be formal, and if they are casual, then you can be less formal as well.
  • Highlight Similarities – If you are looking to influence and persuade a person, it is important emphasize areas of common interest.
  • Sustained Communication – If you experience significant resistance or marked differences between you and a team member, it is important to persistently meet with the person and keep the communication lines open.

Giving in Without Giving Up

You must be willing to make some concessions if you want to improve your chance of influencing your team members.  Concession may simply be agreeing to differ, agreeing that the other person has a right to their opinion or agreeing that the other person has made a reasonable argument. You want your relationship with your team to be collaborative rather than confrontational.  It may be necessary to take losses in areas where you can afford to give up, as long as you do not lose sight of the main goal. Concessions communicate a sincere desire to do what is the best for another person. It is important though to carefully choose what you will concede. Judge what you can sacrifice based on the main goal. The ideal is to create a win-win compromise between what you want and what the team members like.


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