Influence WIthout Authority

geeseOne of the misconceptions people often harbor about leadership is that it implies positional authority. While tacit authority certainly helps, it is even more important to be able to “influence without authority.” At a recent workshop, the participants were a selective crop of the “best and the brightest” relatively newly hired “high potentials.” As is often cited in management literature, these Millennials have high expectations of management—which indeed they should. What they don’t know yet however, is the importance of speaking to their managers in the manager’s language rather than repeating the same questions, each time more loudly, because they think the manager is not hearing.

Instead of doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result, a change of strategy—in this case, employing the art of people-whispering—is required. We teach people not only to leverage their strengths, but also to attune to the language of the other person in order to communicate in a way that makes sense and “lands” with the listener. This ability to connect and communicate with people with differing styles is at the heart of leadership and always will be. Understanding your own DiSC behavioral style and personality characteristics, as well as those with differing styles, causes magic when people relate at this level.

Another key to leading regardless of your title is cultivating your self-worth and becoming a new you with enhanced self-esteem. Check out my book, A Guide to Getting It: Self-Esteem, for more support in this area. It is a compilation of valuable contributions from highly regarded Master Certified Coaches in both the life and business coaching arenas.

Make no mistake, these skills are not just warm and fuzzy people skills. Understanding how and when to use DiSC-based relationship skills encompasses a wide range of personal, social, communication, and self-management behaviors. You can have all the technical expertise in the world, but if you can’t sell your ideas, get along well with others, or create solutions for organizational problems, you are going nowhere fast.

For support to help you be a better leader regardless of position or role, call us at (404) 327-6330 or email me at Laura@lauraadavis.com. We can help you thrive and not just survive in the year and years to come.  

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