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How You Can Lead with Influence

Definition of the Word InfluenceThe notions of perception, visibility, and influence are the keys not only to better performance for your organization but they’ll also help you advance your career to the next level.

Today’s post is by Joel Garfinkle, one of our great thoughtLEADERS instructors.

How often have you looked at a situation in the company and thought of a better way to do it? Or felt that change was needed… but didn’t know how to make it happen? Sometimes we feel frustrated that we aren’t in a position or job title that has the power to make those changes.

But there are some techniques and methods designed to turn you into a strong influence in your company regardless of your title or position. Getting Ahead: Three Steps to Take Your Career to the Next Level introduces the value of Perception, Visibility and Influence.

When you understand how to use perception, visibility and influence – the PVI model – you can lead from where you are right now. Those around you recognize your value. They respect your opinion and you have the skills to influence decisions and changes.

Start with Yourself

Sometimes advancing in leadership means changing cultural patterns and beliefs. You may have been taught to “not push yourself forward,” or “don’t ever volunteer for something.” You’ll need to push aside these well-meaning teachings in order to gain an unexpectedly powerful way of taking leadership.

The first step in perception is to examine how you see yourself. It’s not uncommon for people who want to be leaders to feel insecure – feel like a fraud. Here’s the secret. You’re likely better than you think.

So how can you raise your perception of yourself?

Ask for feedback from those around you

What do they see as your strong points? Which characteristics do others think make you a valuable employee and a good human being? You may think being ethical is no big deal. But others may see it as extremely valuable.

When you get this feedback, you may also find weaknesses or places that need improvement. Be receptive to this feedback, too. It’s a sign of a good leader. You may look at some of the weaker traits and think, oh, I can easily change that. Other weaknesses may require you to depend on the strength of others. For example if you tend to be late, use alarms or assistants to keep you timely.

When you raise your perception of yourself, you make it easier to step out in confidence. If necessary, write down your list of strengths or the praise of others and review it when your confidence wavers.

Move forward to stronger leadership

Now you are prepared to change the perceptions of others. Perhaps others think of you as simply a mid-level leader. The PVI model helps you change the way others see you. It may be easier than you think.

In order for others to notice your good work and leadership skills, you also must raise your visibility. Visibility is important because the people who make decisions about your career need to see your value.

PVI gives you seven specific steps to make you shine in front of top company leadership. You can quickly go from someone who is barely noticed to being valued and having impact.

Become an influencer

Once you have positive perception and visibility, people listen to what you have to say. They trust you and want to your opinion and guidance – regardless of the title you hold.

This gives you leadership through influence. Since people follow you because they want to (not because they have to) you can influence those above you as well as co-workers and those below you.

The PVI model gives you a competitive advantage to elevate your career. Use these three critical skills to determine your own future.

Joel GarfinkleJoel Garfinkle is recognized as one of the top 50 coaches in the U.S., having worked with many of the world’s leading companies, including Oracle, Google, Amazon, Deloitte and The Ritz-Carlton. He is the author of nine books, including Getting Ahead: Three Steps to Take Your Career to the Next Level. More than 10,000 people subscribe to his Fulfillment@Work newsletter. If you sign-up, you’ll receive the free e-book “41 Proven Strategies to Get Promoted Now!”

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