Influencing your team to go the extra mile

To be an effective and influential leader you must be able to motivate others to take action and embrace change.

The ability to communicate in a way that makes it easier for others to say ‘yes’ will win over hearts and minds and inspire your team to go the extra mile. The great news is that by following these practical steps you can develop your own influencing skills.

Identify your communication style and how it impacts those around you. You can use a behavioural profiling tool such as Success Insights/DISC for this.

Identify how your style aligns with your team and adapt accordingly. For example, you may be a people-person who likes to communicate the grand vision, but another may be better inspired with facts and figures.

Take a walk in their shoes, as empathy is the key to understanding what makes your team tick. Only once you understand each individual’s needs (both personal or professional) will you be able to identify the best way to motivate them.

Confidence is contagious! Keep a cool head when the going gets tough – draw on your self-control and self-confidence to manage your emotions. This will boost your credibility, and the trust your team holds in you.

Only once you understand an individual’s needs will you be able to motivate them.

Be ambitious and challenge your team members to reach new heights. Constantly raising the bar will help your team move out of their comfort zone into their stretch zone where you will both reap the rewards.

See the glass half full. Churchill said, “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity, an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” Lead by example and adopt a solution-orientated approach to work. This will help create a ‘can do’ culture that embraces change and fosters innovation.

Finally, remember that developing your influencing skills won’t happen overnight. Try to hone them on a daily basis. By building your influence, you’ll reap the rewards of a more motivated and energised team that goes the extra mile.

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