When you work as an employee, you cannot rely on authority in order to influence others. Even an employer can’t abuse his or her power to a great extent, let alone a simple worker. Still, you need to find a way to get some things you might need at work – assistance on a project, a raise, a day off etc. These things don’t come easy and if you go on a rampage with frequent demands, no one will take you seriously. Luckily, there are ways to navigate certain situations, and have things play out just as you’ve planned.
See Also: 14 Signs Your Boss Secretly Hates You
Before you get any ideas, none of the techniques you implement will have anything to do with manipulation or deception. Well maybe a little bit, but still, no one will be possibly harmed, nor will any of it be a potential hindrance to your advancement. All of the techniques are to be used in order to generate a level of influence, so that you can occasionally ask for a favour.
1. Notice Their Efforts
Well, as the old wise saying goes: “In order to receive, you must give something first.” In other words, if you want your hard work to be noticed and praised, you must do the same for others. Pay close attention to what your coworkers and boss do during the day, and don’t shy away from complimenting their work. Of course, do not allow this spectating activity to interfere with your responsibilities, and do not do it all the time, it will only come off as brown nosing.
Additionally, this praising can especially come in handy if you work as a project manager, since it will serve as positive reinforcement. The best part is you can even wrap it up in some constructive criticism, to make your demand sound less aggressive. “Wow! Great job on the drawings Scott, these are all amazing. Although, I think you’ll agree this might look a bit better with less details.”
2. Offer a Helping Hand
Don’t overthink the decision to help someone out and put in some extra work – it has more than one benefit. First, it scores you some positive points, with either your boss, or peers, which you can cash in later when you need help. Second, you get a glimpse into some work that is not directly related to your field of expertise, so, by helping, you get to broaden your skillsets.
Third, you gain influence. You can ask for someone to fill in for you if you need a day off. Forth, your colleagues may even refuse the offer and you still leave a positive impression, simply by being willing to go out of your way. Lastly, any employer will appreciate such commitment and see you as a good team player, making you a valuable asset to the company.
3. Empower Them (Co-Workers Only)
It is very similar to the first suggestion, only this is more applicable when your co-workers’ spirits are down. This drop in motivation usually happens after a period of time when one feels underappreciated. In other words, when you see that someone is grumpy, you can approach them during a break and remind them of their brilliance. “Hey, I read what you wrote yesterday, I had no idea you can write so well, I really learned something interesting.”
It shows the person that his or her efforts do not remain unnoticed, and they know their contribution means something. Plus it’s a really nice gesture, and once again, it scores you some points. I wouldn’t recommend trying this one on your boss, it may create an awkward situation, especially if everybody else is present, and if your boss is a woman.
4. Damsel in Distress (Co-Workers Only)
A very powerful gambit, as long as you save it for rare occasions, and for god’s sake, never try it on your superior, since it screams incompetence. The reason why this technique works is because people love to be heroes, they love to feel needed. Trying to use the technique frequently only makes them look like fools, thus it backfires.
However, if you really have a bothersome task, and feel like you don’t have it in you to finish it, it’s time to put those drama classes from high school to some good use. Remember, silence can be louder than words, so as long as you remain awkwardly quiet for the entire day, people will start to worry.
When they ask if you need help, say that you feel extremely overwhelmed, and how you would really appreciate if someone stepped in. Don’t forget to buy a minor gift of appreciation for that person, to show you did not forget their good deed.
5. Become a Reliable Asset
This is important not only for gaining influence, but for career advancement in general. However, before you can apply your influence, you must first earn it through hard work and devotion. It means that you should work on your performance and broaden your skillset.. You strive to become better than everybody else, a worker of the month, every month. Once you are the best around and irreplaceable, you may start to request VIP treatment. Even though this buys you a great amount of influence, it is hard to pull off and maintain.
6. Throw a Party
As long as your workplace has no weird rivalries, and there are no feuds between co-workers, you can rely on parties to score positive points. Everyone is usually tired after a long week, and having Friday nights at your place will be a good way to become associated with something positive. Your peers will love you for it, but it will drain your budget. You can use the tactic to gain some basic influence, but if you need influence for financial reasons, the approach is a bit counterproductive.
7. Show Determination (Boss Only)
The best way to influence your boss is to display healthy initiative. Approach him or her with determination and ask the question directly: “What are my chances of getting a raise, and what do I need to do in order to get one?” Basically, the easiest way to influence your employer and get an increase in salary is to earn more money for the company. These efforts rarely go unnoticed, since it is in everyone’s interest that those who earn more resources for the firm are rewarded, in order to incentivize others to do the same.
8. Be More Involved
Want greater authority? Well, it means you need to move up a rank in order to get it. Much like becoming a reliable asset, you need to display additional interest, but not in your current job – you need to show interest in a managerial position. So, do your homework, come up with good ideas for the advancement of entire firm, crunch some numbers, and try designing a modified business model that can positively impact the overall performance of the company. Pitch the ideas to your boss, show him or her just how capable and astute you are, and you’ll gradually become more involved, as a part of the management team.
As you can see some methods are very similar, since the concept is quite the same in nature – put in some extra work to purchase favour tokens. It’s not easy to influence someone at work, however, with hard work, dedication and the right attitude you can easily control (in a good way) everyone in your office.