How many times have you been asked to affect change in your team or organization when you have had no formal authority or power to make this happen? What did you do?
We all have influence even if we are not the team lead or the CEO. Can you be the person in the group who everyone turns to in complex situations?
I have some thoughts in the points below that will enable you to guide others in your team/organization without formal authority.
- Listen – network and connect with others to determine their concerns, values, hopes and expectations. Knowing where others stand will help you formulate a more effective way forward.
- Manage Relationships – make sure key people are kept in the loop and feel included. Share what you are hearing and show empathy for those in difficult situations. Being authentic in your transactions will foster trust.
- Build Understanding – have your conversations at a deeper level. Focus on values and beliefs to allow opposing viewpoints to be heard. Acknowledge and reframe what you’ve heard in a values-based way. No agreement is required at this point.
- Seek solutions together – gather essential players and set the stage for collaboration. Brain-storming and innovation occurs when people feel safe and non-defensive.
Many businesses are shifting to an organizational structure that has little or no chain of command. Our influencing muscles need to be developed and flexed for us to remain effective.
I’d like your input to add to the points above. How else have you impacted stakeholders and encouraged operation in a collaborative system without “command and control” leadership?
The Workplace Fairness Institute works to support organizations to communicate effectively and build working relationships so employees can influence without authority.