The ability to influence those around you is a key leadership skill. To influence effectively, you must be adept at getting your opinions and ideas heard, recognized and considered by others. Use the new year as an opportunity to try a new approach, such as one of these, to achieve different results when trying to influence those in either the dining room or the boardroom.
Find Your Influence Style this Year
(Family Features) The ability to influence those around you is a key leadership skill. To influence effectively, you must be adept at getting your opinions and ideas heard, recognized and considered by others.
Use the new year as an opportunity to try a new approach to achieve different results when trying to influence those in either the dining room or the boardroom.
According to clinical psychologist Dr. Steven Stein, CEO of Multi-Health Systems, influence styles can range from reliance on position and power to education, encouragement and collaboration.
Most people rely on pushing or advocating for a position, which can create a tension between parties, Stein said. It immediately draws a line in the sand between the two sides and leaves people feeling unheard and disrespected. Last year, you may have found yourself using these influence techniques:
Rationalizing, which is a fact-based approach, is using logical reasoning to convince others of your point of view. When used correctly, rationalizing moves discussion to a less emotional space. It works best when the people involved haven’t already made up their minds about a certain topic. Some people react negatively to this influence style, assuming you value your data more than their feelings.
Asserting involves enforcing your dominance through your position or experience to explain why people should believe you. You ask people to comply rather than agree with you. Others can perceive this as aggressive, self-serving and competitive. If they don’t respect your position, your assertion will fall flat.
The turn of a new year might be the time to change up your tactics. To change someone’s mind, you may want to try pulling people toward you and your point of view. If you’re starting on opposite sides of disagreement, find a way to unite the two groups by using these techniques:
Bridging entails building communities based on common, mutual interests. Establish trust by listening to what others have to say. Show you’re listening and then try to find something you agree upon. Finding somewhere small to start where you can agree might help you build toward a resolution.
Inspiring entails advocating for your position by encouraging others with a sense of shared purpose and exciting possibilities. Famous leaders, like Steve Jobs, are remembered for rallying their employees with passionate words and empowering people to share the same feelings.
This year, if you end up arguing with a relative about politics or a colleague about an aspect of your business, take a step back. After exhausting yourselves with facts and figures, try finding common ground. Learn more about techniques for influencing others at mhs.com.
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Although there are many reasons to feel stressed in the workplace, productivity is often at the root. After all, productive employees are often perceived as the most valuable employees and when productivity fails, it tends to put everyone on edge. Take a proactive role in improving your own productivity with these ideas.
Plan to make productivity a priority
(Family Features) Although there are many reasons to feel stressed in the workplace, productivity is often at the root. After all, productive employees are often perceived as the most valuable employees and when productivity fails, it tends to put everyone on edge.
Concerns about productivity are broadly founded. They may be related to your self-assessment of your own performance, or it could be that a manager is demanding more. Or maybe you’re collaborating with a team of peers and are struggling to find your footing, and collectively productivity is down.
Productivity is not only good for business; it’s good for worker morale, too. A productive work day can produce a sense of accomplishment and pride, and may result in a less stressful work environment. You can take a proactive role in improving your own productivity with these ideas.
1. Face a challenge head on. Procrastination can be the ultimate roadblock to productivity. For many, that means saving the least desired task on your to-do lists for the end of the day. However, by the end of the day, it’s too easy to delay the task until tomorrow. Instead, start the day with your least desired task. This is when you’ll have the most energy and you’ll kick off your day feeling accomplished, ready to tackle whatever comes next.
2. Be intentional with your time. It may seem counterintuitive, but taking breaks can help you have a more productive day. When you feel your energy start to wane, give yourself a timeout. Take a 15-minute walk, run the stairs or spend some time drawing in your notebook. Over the course of a week, pay attention to your schedule and start to plan your meetings and tasks around breaks so you’re working during periods of the day when you’re the most energized.
3. Capture ideas when they come. Let’s face it: not every great idea arrives at the ideal moment. While it’s possible to key your ideas immediately into your smartphone, that can come with multiple obnoxious distractions. However, trying to recreate that flash of inspiration at a more opportune time more often than not falls short with missing details.
An option like the Bamboo Slate smartpad allows you to write naturally with pen on any paper without the social media notifications and email alerts. With the push of a button, you can then convert your handwritten notes into “living” digital files. With Wacom Inkspace, you can organize, edit and share your notes and sketches on your enabled smartphone, tablet or other devices. In case you’re not near your mobile device when inspiration strikes, you can store up to 100 pages on your smartpad and sync later. Learn more at bamboo.wacom.com.
4. Identify areas for collaboration. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses. The key is knowing yourself well enough to know when you need to ask for help to be more productive. Wasting time on tasks you don’t excel in can slow everyone down. Rather, find others whom you can collaborate with and learn from to help you improve your productivity over time.
5. Stay organized. When you’re working under continuous deadlines, things can really start to pile up – literally. Digging through a mess to find the report containing the data you need or the invoice to cross reference is a waste of precious time. Allow the clutter to build during the work day if you must, but make it a goal to never leave the office without bringing some order to the day’s chaos. Coming in each morning to a desk that is de-cluttered and ready for the day ahead can be a big productivity booster.
Learn to Make Lists with Purpose
List-making has long been revered as the classic time management tool, and technology makes it easier than ever to blend this analog task with your digital world by using smart notebooks like the Bamboo Slate to create an online to-do list.
Consider these three list styles to determine the approach that best fits your work style to put you on your way to more productive days:
Categorized lists. Most people start with a daily to-do list, focusing just on the most urgent tasks for the day. Once you’ve mastered that approach, try looking ahead to the future to help you meet your goals. For this technique, you might consider an annual list or even a life list to help put the big picture in perspective and make it more manageable to accomplish your desires. Others go so far as to categorize their time to focus their attention on different types of tasks on different days.
To-do vs. done lists. Another option is to use lists to catalog both the items you need to do and those you’ve already completed. A “done list” can be a motivating factor in pushing forward with your to-do list by letting you see your accomplishments in writing.Bullet journaling. The bullet journal approach is a four-step process designed to make the to-do list less of a chore and more efficient. A step-by-step guide shows you how to create more productive lists you can easily reference in the future.
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