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Strategies for Developing Influence and Trust

The ability to influence others is a vital and powerful leadership tool. We continue to discuss influence and trust this week with some more powerful strategies that you can develop and use to increase the level of influence and trust you have with others.

It’s much easier to get things done with the assistance and cooperation of others. Imagine the impact on your life if you had greater ability to positively influence those around you.

Here are some strategies:

Be trustworthy. When people trust you, they’re more likely to be influenced by you. Think about it: who you would choose to follow: someone you trust, or someone you don’t?

There are a number of ways to build trust:

  • Tell the truth. Lying is the quickest and easiest way to destroy trust.

  • Be consistent and dependable. People who are always prepared and on time, are seen as trustworthy, because we can count on them.

  • Follow through. Do what you say you’re going to do.

Be an expert. Experts are trusted and more influential than non-experts. A doctor is more likely to influence your health decisions than your mechanic is. But, you’ll believe your mechanic more than your doctor when it comes to advice about your car. It’s about expertise, so develop expertise in your field.

Give before you receive. There’s a human tendency to reciprocate. It is easier to return a favor that to provide a favor up front. So, if you can give before you get, that sets you apart as someone who cares and can be trusted.

Focus on emotions. It’s a good bet you did not buy a particular coat, solely because it was the most thermally-efficient item at a given price point. You likely also made your decision because you could picture how you would look in the garment, and imagine the feelings of pleasure you’d experience, and compliments you’d get, when wearing it.

  • People are driven by emotions. Give someone a reason to feel good about helping you, or following your lead.

Ask. It’s tough to get what you want if you can’t, or won’t, ask for it assertively. Be bold. Bravely ask for what you want. The number of people willing to accommodate you will surprise you.

Focus on the benefits. People are interested in how they will benefit. They want to know what’s in it for them. Your concerns are mostly secondary to them. Make sure they understand how doing what you propose will benefit them. Remember, no one wants a drill-bit - what they want is a hole!

Make friends first. The famous book, “How to Make Friends and Influence People” was right. Make friends first, then influence will follow. This is “making friends” is not about becoming “best buddies” or “BFFs” but rather about connecting on a human level. Show that you are interested in them and care about them.

Influencing others can help you get more things done through collaboration and cooperation. It increases your leadership abilities because you are able to inspire others to work with you and you become a role model for others.

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