Being influential is easy when you have power and a job title to match. What happens when you’ve got a great idea but you feel like just a cog in a machine?
You could quite easily just seethe and simper in a corner, bemoaning the powers that be for being too caught up in their ivory tower to listen to the likes of you. After all, it’s not your problem…
But hey that would be playing victim and adding to the problem, and I know you are too much of a natural rock star leader to let THAT happen, right?!
So what is a non-ranked and non-titled person to do when they are struck with an amazingly awesome suggestion that could change the company forever? Or at least solve that age old issue of who gets the oorner office?
Here are three awesome tips to help you be more influential, even without a job title or a knighthood:
1.Make the boss look good. What’s more important to you – that your idea gets a look in, or you get the recognition? If the idea and its altrustic benefits trump this dilemma, then what you need to do is mention something to the boss in casual conversation and recommend she implement pronto if she wants to look like a hero. Be sure to list all the benefits the implemented idea would bring to the company as a whole.
2. Act like the hostess with the mostest. Act as if it were YOUR company. I don’t mean order new office furniture and fire the accountant. I mean treat the premises with dignity and respect and pride. Do little things to make the place look nicer. Tidy your colleagues’ dishes in the staff kitchen. When a stranger arrives on site, welcome them, and look after them even if it is not your job to do so.
Likewise give praise to your colleagues – acknowledge their successes and wins. Being a team cheerleader will earn your respect and appreciaiton from peers and supervisors alike.
So when Penny Happy Pants (that’s you!) makes a suggestion, the powers that be will perk up and take note because clearly you’re a company gal.
3. Model the Dalai Lama. I don’t mean get a model Dalai Lama for your desk (though that kind of appeals in a funny/creepy kind of a way). I mean work on your own emotional and spiritual intelligence so that you can respond to challenges with wisdom and compassion, whilst maintaining inner and outer calm. Have you ever been around someone who is centered, even-keeled, and considered in their responses? They are very compelling to be around and are often some of the wisest most magnetic leaders. Let that be you.
So how do you develop your inner Lama? Start by looking after yourself so you are not at the end of your tether in the first place. Next, practise building your compassion muscle. This means that you try to see all unpleasant (and even downright heinous) situations from a different angle until you can feel a tiny bit of compassion for the people involved. This is a good start. Try it out with people who cut you off in traffic, and then move on to the jerk who always pushes in at the morning coffee queue. You can work on forgiving bigger wrongs as you build up your forgiveness and compassion muscle.
Bonus Tip: Keep learning to grow into the position you want. Watch with egle eyes how others lead – what works, what doesn’t, what appeals, what doesn’t. Ask for guidance from a mentor. Get coaching to build your confidence and persuasivesnes abilities.
Lastly, have a purpose-driven higher reason for why you want to be influential. Being of service to a greater good is always tremendously attractive and will have people seeking your counsel and ideas in no time.