Friday, January 24, 2014

Influencing Without Authority

So you've been put in the unenviable position of having all the responsibility of completing a project on time and within budget, but have no authority over the project's team members. How the heck are you going to influence this group to get the job done when you don't have the positional authority to "command" them to do so?
Influencing without authority is one of the most valuable skills you can gain as an emerging leader within any organization. It's that special knack to get things done through positive interpersonal relationships.  Individuals who possess this skill have the ability to accurately understand the individual differences of each team member and use this knowledge to influence them in order to meet project goals.
While positional authority is something to work towards in the future, it's also important to understand that developing these skills now is a vital step on the journey from employee to manager.
So let's take a look at the key dimensions a person must possess to influence without authority:
Social intelligence:  Social intelligence is how well a person can accurately perceive and evaluate social situations.  A socially astute person can manage social situations in ways that make others feel valued and comfortable so that they enjoy and feel confident in the work they are doing for your project.
Relational Inspiration:  Relational inspiration is the a very subtle personal style.  Individuals who possess relational inspiration are extremely flexible in adapting to differing working styles, understanding what motivates and inspires each individual team member to get things done.  There is an understanding that each person is different and there is no "them".
Networking ability:  Networking ability is an individual's capacity to develop and retain diverse and extensive networks up, down and across the organization.  People with great networking ability are effective in building successful relationships and typically possess great negotiation and conflict resolution skills.
Sincerity:  Sincerity refers to an individual's ability to be forthright and authentic in all of their dealings.  People who are sincere inspire confidence and trust, and thus make others want to work with them.
By fully utilizing these four dimensions of influence, the less persuading and cajoling you need to use.  You will find that you are gaining in credibility, getting buy-in for ideas, and making a larger impact in organization. You'll get noticed as someone who gets things done...and move closer to that promotion!

How influential are you?  Take the quiz and share your results on our Facebook Page!

Use the following 6-point scale, pick the number that best describes how much you agree with each statement about yourself.  The higher the score the more influential you are!

1=strongly disagree  2=disagree  3=slightly disagree  4=slightly agree  5=agree  6=strongly agree

1.    I am able to make most people feel comfortable and at ease around me.
2.    I am able to communicate easily and effectively with others.
3.    It is easy for me to develop good rapport with most people.
4.    I understand people very well.
5.    I am good at building relationships with influential people at work.
6.    When communicating with others, I try to be genuine in what I say and do.
7.    I am good at using my connections and network to make things happen at work.
8.    At work, I know a lot of influential people and am well connected.
9.    It is important that people believe I am sincere in what I say and do.
10.  I try to show a genuine interest in other people.
11.  I am particularly good at sensing what motivates and inspires others.
12.  I understand there is no "one size fits all" when it comes to working with a variety of people

Scoring:  The higher the score the more influential you are within your organization.

Looking to become more influential within your organization?  We're here to help.  Contact The Trinity Business Group today for more information!

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