You know that “squinty eyed” feeling you get when you’re talking with someone you don’t entirely trust, don’t you?
You put so much energy into figuring out where they’re coming from and what they really want, you’re not entirely listening to what they’re saying.
Because you’re busy trying to guess their end-game you’re:
- Not fully receptive to their message
- Reluctant to agree to their propositions
- Alert to any need to protect yourself.
Under these conditions, influencing you is going to be hard going!
Strong Trust in Your Relationships Must Be a High Priority
Why are these observations important to you as leader? Because:
- A leader’s role is primarily to influence people
- Influencing is tough when the other person isn’t totally receptive to what you’re saying
- Because you can’t effectively lead until the other person fully trusts you, building that trust needs to be high on your agenda.
Check the Lay of the Land
I regularly have leaders create a mind-map that depicts who they need to influence and currently how receptive each person on their map is to them. I call it an Influence Map.
The pictorial nature of the Influence Map makes it clear where the leader’s energy needs to go—where more trust needs to be developed so influencing (and leading) becomes easier.
Your Call to Action
First, map out those people you need to influence (including your direct reports, your boss and key peers).
Second, assess the current level of trust in your relationship with each of them. (Be brutal—you don’t want any opportunities to slip through the cracks.)
Third, figure out which of those relationships you need to put at the top of your priority list.
Give me a yell if you’d find support useful, both in creating your Influence Map and in increasing trust in your relationships.
(What you can do to increase trust is an important topic in its own right. It’ll need to be the subject of a future Leadership Blog though. Stay tuned.)
“Carolyn’s authenticity and candour impressed me immediately and
her wealth of experience gave me complete confidence in her abilities.
She has helped me unleash my true capability and leverage skills to
be a more effective leader.”
—Senior Leader, Aviation Industry
About The Author:
Carolyn Stevens has worked with leaders for more than 25-years—hundreds of them.
She’s supported leader after leader to flourish and become confident, courageous and impressively influential (including those who previously struggled to confront the difficult, let alone persuasively deal with the it).
Plus, as a personal career strategist, she also specialises in helping ambitious female senior executives create a reputation as an indispensable world-class leader.
Carolyn is authentic and results-oriented. She’ll draw on an eclectic array of approaches, tools and techniques to suit your situation.
She’s never too busy to talk to you if you’re in a hurry to boost your success. Same goes for leaders you refer.
Just email if you’d like to arrange a time to chat: email@example.com