Influencers are people whose opinions are trusted and sought after. They’re powerful people – often more powerful than those with better titles. They are thought leaders, motivators, and go-to colleagues.
Becoming an influencer can accelerate your career, and take you places you never dreamed of reaching. Here are 5 ways to become more influential at work:
1. Always be learning (and sharing)
Influencers are interesting. They are well read, they form unique opinions about what they read, and they share the best stuff with friends and colleagues.
Podcasts and audio books are the easiest way to digest content when you’re busy. Just download a couple and listen to them during your commute to work.
2. Build your network
The people you spend time with shape the way you think. Who are you learning from? Do you attend industry events? Are you actively working to build your LinkedIn network by sharing great content and engaging in conversations?
Your network is a great place to learn and grow, and there’s a school of thought that says your network is your net worth – it can lead to opportunities you can’t even imagine.
3. Build deeper workplace relationships
You’ll never become an influencer if you don’t take the time to build deep connections with your colleagues.
Do people know that they can trust and rely on you? Are they comfortable talking to you and asking for advice? Building genuine friendships is the best way to become an influencer.
4. Be assertive, but not aggressive
Influencers are respected and powerful, which means they aren’t pushovers. But no-one likes a bully. It’s not easy, but if you can train yourself to be assertive you’ll gain a lot respect.
The key is to always listen respectfully and treat others the way you would like them to treat you. Stand up for your ideas, work and team mates, but know how to pick your battles.
5. Build a reputation as a problem solver
Are you a force for good in your organization, or simply a mouthpiece for dissatisfaction? You’re probably already more influential than you realize, but perhaps for all the wrong reasons.
If you’re unhappy about something, try to resist the urge to complain and focus on finding a solution instead. Be brave enough to talk to senior management about your concerns. This will earn you respect and build your influence within the organization.
How do you build your profile as a thought leader?