There’s a difference between a boss and a leader. A boss gives demands and orders, while a leader influences their team to complete tasks.
One of the most important factors in successful leadership is the ability to influence others.
When you can gain the respect and influence of your team, then your chances for success are higher.
Here are five ways to gain the loyalty of your team and influence them to work for you and with you.
1. Discipline in Private, Reward in Public
Imagine two dog owners. One is patient, praising his dog every time he rolls over or fetches a ball. The other is impatient and gets easily annoyed. This owner yells every time there is an accident and never praises me.
One arrives home and is greeted jubilantly by a loyal companion. The other comes home to a dog cowering in the corner or is reckless and non-responsive. Any moment can lead to an attack or even to the dog running away.
Recognizing when your team is improving, and succeeding is very important and will garner positive results. Recognize and reward in public.
Give an incentive and be accountable with the reward so they feel great for achieving it and will feel good when repeating the task.
When something doesn’t go according to plan, and a mistake is made, turn it into a learning experience and coach the person through it in private. Take it as a coaching moment and remind yourself that failure is necessary when mastering a skill.
2. Practice Active Listening
There’s a difference between hearing and listening. This doesn’t mean waiting for a break in conversation so you can say your thoughts.
Active listening is focusing on the conversation with no distractions while understanding and responding accordingly.
This is so important to building trust and relationships that counselors use this technique during their sessions.
It is a skill, which means it develops when practiced. And when mastered, it can impact a person’s view of you and can gain you a loyal follower.
When someone feels they can talk to you and trust you, they are more willing to complete a task when delegated.
3. Be a Human
Dale Carnegie once said, “When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but creatures of emotion.”
As humans, we are more than just pieces to a cog. We crave emotional connection. Building that connection with your team and empathizing with their needs will set you apart from the pack, with you at the front.
Go out of your way to say hello to everyone on your team. This is an easy way to show your team that you value them and help make them feel comfortable, thus building your positive influence on them.
When leaving for the day, try going to everyone individually and say thank you for the work and to have a great evening. It could just make their day.
4. Practice What You Preach
If you are expecting your team to be at work on time, then you are expected to do the same. If you expect professionalism from your team, then you are expected to act the same.
You may be the boss, but that doesn’t mean you have leeway to break the rules. Lead by example and set the culture with your team by adhering to the rules that have been set.
The expectations are set high. And when the leader is tight on his own expectations, then the staff will follow suit.
5. Keep Promises
This is crucial. When you set a promise for someone and give your word, keeping it is expected.
For example, if you tell somebody on your team that they can have a day off for their honeymoon.
This team member now has the expectation they are off and will make plans accordingly.
Breaking a promise shatters the trust of your team. Be sure to apologize immediately and ensure the promise is met in the future.
Gaining Respect and Trust
When you are willing to carry your team and back them up (within reason), you will gain respect, trust, and everyone who follows you will feel heavily influenced by the work that you do.
How Can You Become an Influential Leader?
If you have ideas about influential leaders that might be helpful to readers, share them in the comments section below. Thanks!
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Another key virtue of influential leaders that I have noticed is, that they put themselves in front of their team when it is time to receive brick-bats; and put themselves at the back, for taking credits.