Influencing with Impact: Your Career Accelerator
Have you ever walked out of a meeting asking yourself “why did they not listen to me?” or “why did they completely ignore my ideas?” It is frustrating, perplexing and confidence diminishing when our intentions to influence others to fall flat.
Developing and honing our ability to influence with impact is one of the most misunderstood and underestimated competencies under the umbrella of communication. It is fraught with layers of complexity.
No matter where you are on your career trajectory – entry-level or seasoned practitioner - becoming a workplace influencer, whose opinions are sought after and who has the ability to shift people’s thinking and move them into action, can accelerate your career. The ability to influence others is a signature skill honed by the folks around us who soar to unimaginable heights personally and professionally. Becoming a workplace influencer is linked to: the faster and more streamlined achievement of career goals; higher levels of job, career and personal satisfaction; more favourable outcomes when navigating difficult conversations; and, improved health and well-being.
I only fully understood this when I found myself in a culture radically unlike my own.
Discovering how to influence with impact in unexpected places
In 2014, I was blessed to spend most of the year living and working in Tanzania, where I was a visiting MBA professor at Mount Meru University, and, a researcher and volunteer with Education Beyond Borders collaborating with an international team on a teacher leadership development project. On a blistering hot October afternoon, an email arrived with an invitation to be the keynote speaker at an international conference. I turned to my dear Maasai friend, Meleji, to share the news, to which Meleji asked, What will you speak about? I replied the conference organizers want a presentation about connections – being a workplace influencer. Without hesitation, Meleji asked if I will talk about Africa. Sensing my perplexity, Meleji explained that it was Africa that schooled me in how to be an influencer. He proceeded with great candidness and care to tell me that, when I was a newcomer in Tanzania seven years ago, my skills were rusty in this area.
In hindsight, I agree with Meleji that I was clumsy and inept at influencing others when I first set foot in Tanzania. I made endlessly embarrassing blunders. Whether I was speaking to tribal elders, youth in the village, or vendors in the marketplace, people dismissed or ignored me. I was trying desperately to offer ideas, opinions, and recommendations, and each offering landed unceremoniously flat with predictable regularity. I couldn’t understand why I was not acknowledged, appreciated, or heard. As distressing and diminishing as these encounters were, they were my humbling and life-changing awakenings.
Taking the next step to enhance our skills as an influencer
Like a muscle to be developed, becoming a workplace influencer requires patience, perseverance, and practice in order to navigate the myriad of variables and unpredictable human dynamics in every situation.
On Tuesday, January 26 at 12 noon PST, join me, Carolin Rekar Munro, and Ross Porter in a conversation about Influencing with Impact. In this fourth episode of the Insights for Action webinar series, we shatter myths about being a workplace influencer; examine everyday groundwork for earning a reputation as a trusted workplace influencer; unpack the 3 P’s of workplace influencing; and, decode and respond to common challenges experienced in influence conversations.
Our goal is to equip you with a toolkit of practices that you can use to chart your pathway to influencing with impact. Register for the webinar today!
Carolin Rekar Munro, Professor, Leadership
Ross Porter, Assistant Professor & BCom Program Head