Personal Leadership 101: 36 Ways to Expand Your Influence in the Workplace


People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.

~Unknown~
 If I asked you to write down the names of five people who has had the greatest impact on your life, your list would represent individuals who has demonstrated sincere concern for you in your personal, academic and professional life. We all have a tendency to remember folks who we felt cared about us. Another tendency of ours is, we may not always remember the names of people who have come and gone in our life, but we always remember how they made us feel in their presence.

Every person that we come in contact with leaves an impression on us. Our impression, especially if they are someone we are in contact with on a regular basis, determines the level of influence we allow that individual to have in our life. Titles in a workplace gives a person authority and a degree of influence. Becoming a person of influence in your workplace does not require a title. It requires that you develop your character and personal leadership skills.

The following actions will help expand your influence within your workplace:

1.       Demonstrate the set of skills and competence related to your position that enable you to exceed expectations in your job duties.

2.      Be able to communicate effectively with a diverse group of individuals, not just your work group.

3.      Show respect to everyone, at all levels within your organization.

4.      Practice active listening skills.

5.      Be reliable and dependable.

6.      Develop your skills to manage conflict with internal and external customers of your organization.

7.      Demonstrate a willingness to adapt to change.

8.     Maintain realistic optimism towards your organization’s leadership and goals.

9.      Be self-motivated. Be capable of accomplishing your position responsibilities without direct supervision.

10.  Exhibit a commitment to completing assigned tasks in a timely manner.

11.   Show sincere concern for others.

12.  Nurture a results-oriented mindset.

13.  Do what matters most to be successful in your work environment.

14.  Commit to displaying personal excellence on a consistent basis.

15.   Take responsibility for your career.

16.  Pursue positions and tasks that expose you to key decision makers in the organization.

17.   Be a problem-solver. Be interested in the challenges faced by other teams in the organization. Share your knowledge, skills and experience to help others reach solutions to their challenges.

18.  Cultivate a diverse network of supportive work relationships.

19.  Make sure your work makes your boss look good.

20. Make it your business to develop and expand your emotional and social intelligence skills.

21.  Don’t talk about people behind their backs.

22. Be someone that people can confide in and know that they can trust you to keep what they tell you confidential.

23. Be likable.

24. Establish SMART goals and achieve them.

25.  Lead by example, even if you have no title.

26. Grow yourself. Don’t just rely on your organization’s HR department for your development, enroll in courses at your local community college, university or seminars and workshops held by community organizations that will sharpen your professional skills.

27.  Understand the political landscape of your work environment and how to best navigate it to achieve your professional aspirations.

28. Support the success of others.

29. Persuade rather than coerce.

30. Subscribe to honesty and integrity.

31.  Never respond with vengeance or spite.

32. Have the courage to handle unjust criticism in a respectful manner.

33. Be decisive.

34. Encourage innovation.

35.  Master the art of public speaking. Toastmaster’s is a great and affordable way to do this.

36. When you help people, don’t throw it up in their face.

What do you think about this list? What other actions would you include? Share your comments below.

If this article has been helpful to you, please share it with your network.

Until next time…

Be Courageous!

Jackie Brown

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