5 ways to influence others at work

You’ve been asked to manage a team at work. Or perhaps work on a group project at uni. You know exactly what you want to achieve, and what jobs you think everyone should do to reach the best end goal. The only problem is you don’t know how to say it.

How do you effectively persuade others, and get things done your way, without coming across as super bossy? Here are five top tips to subtly influence others and get what you want. No dictator behaviour required.

1. Make yourself stand out 

Branding yourself is absolutely vital for ensuring you don’t get lost in the crowd. Make yourself memorable and be present. Be friendly to the other members of the team and take an interest in them and what they are working on. That way you will be remembered, but also be able to exercise influence more easily.

Make subtle suggestions of changes you want to see happen. Offering up options that work in your favour is one of the smartest ways to influence others. Develop a few so that if one doesn’t work you will still have a back-up idea to present.

2. Don’t speak too much

As important as it is to chat to other team members and make yourself heard, you don’t want to say too much. Be memorable but remember that when it comes to your words of wisdom, less is more. Listen to others and take in what is going on in all areas of the group.

Don’t give away all of your good ideas right at the start. If you observe more than you speak up, then you will still have smart logistical moves to give people further down the line when they are more likely to need help. Becoming the person that everyone comes to for advice will enable you to influence easily.

3. Be the ‘James Bond’ of the group

Assess the group dynamic, and eavesdrop as much as you possibly can. Be the spy of the team. The more information you have to hand about who is doing and saying what in the group, the more influence you will have. Withdrawing a little will also make people realise and appreciate your true value.

4. Know yourself

Knowing your weaknesses will make you far better at influencing any group you are working in. Are you not particularly organised? Then make sure you try and improve. These life admin apps are a great place to start.

If you know the things you aren’t so good at then you can work on them AND hide them from the team. Showing all your weaknesses and repeating mistakes over again will make others lose confidence in you. This will make it a lot harder for you to influence the group from within.

5. Be the neutral one 

Offending people will set you back. If you are feeling angry or frustrated with something or someone, take a deep breath and force yourself to act calmly. Instead try and spend more time with the happier, more positive members of the group. Be a neutral team player, don’t suck up to certain people, or ignore others.

Acting in this way will soon make you to ‘go-to’ person because you won’t be taking anyone’s side. Don’t come across as too worthy or perfect though, you want your colleagues to relate to you. That way they are more likely to come to you, confide in you and trust you. This will be when you strike with what you want to happen and influence others like a pro.

Now what?