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How to influence people

The single most important skill your people need...

InfluencerTeaching your people how to effectively influence is one of the best investments you can make. And I’m not just talking about your sales people; I’m talking about everyone in the organisation.

Automation has taken away a huge amount of manual work from our economy, meaning there’s a far greater proportion of highly educated, highly skilled people in our businesses than there ever was before.

In turn, the “command and control” approach of traditional management is rapidly becoming a thing of the past because there’s absolutely no point in getting smart and talented people into the business, then dictating to them exactly what they need to do.

People give most when they are passionate about what they’re doing, and fully committed to what they’re trying to achieve. We also know that to get their very best work, it helps to give them a lot of autonomy; to judge them on their successes and failures; on what they produce, rather than the way they work, or the times they clock in and out. And it follows that to get these passionate, autonomous people working together on the things that we need them to work on, our managers can’t rely on the authority and hierarchy of their positions, dictating the task and the process, they need to be much smarter than that.

One of the biggest differences between a manager and a leader is the ability to get people, over whom you have very little authority, to do exactly what you want them to do. And that’s precisely why, in most modern workplaces, leadership is becoming increasingly important at every level of the organisation, and the ability to influence and inspire is becoming the most essential skill of those leaders.

And in case you’re thinking this is just about your most senior managers becoming better leaders, it’s not.

The largest group of people in most organisations are those who report in to your first line of management – the “front-line” staff with no management responsibility of their own. This might be 30%, 40%, 50% of your people, but it’s probably 80% of the people who interact with your customers on a daily basis.

These are the people who can make or break a customer experience. These are the roles where you want talented people doing their very best work. So these are the people whose managers need to become highly influential leaders.

What's your plan to develop them?

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