Influence = Transparency + Results + Gratitude

I am instinctively impatient and honest. To ensure that my impatience doesn’t rub my new colleagues the wrong way, I pick a roadblock that everyone agrees on and volunteer to be the one to tackle it.  For example, if there is something my team wants, but someone–a manager, a client, a colleague–has always stood in the way of getting it, then I volunteer to make the call and make the ask. Who knows, perhaps I’ll prove persuasive. Perhaps I won’t. Either way, I’ll have shown my nerve.

Initially, because I am so action-focused, people will wonder what my agenda is. So, to stop their wondering, I am explicit with my teammates about it.I tell them my agenda. It doesn’t really matter what my agenda is–it could be making the sale, stirring things up, or getting my way. What matters is that I am transparent about it. People don’t mind persuasiveness. What they don’t like is uncertainty. And, without a clear agenda, sometimes my persuasive push can feel like manipulation.

I look for ways to measure my results. I will be energized by the “proof” of whether I’m ahead or behind. I am always at my best when I know exactly where I stand. Whenever I succeed in making something happen, I am deliberate in thanking people for their help.  If I don’t do this, they may come to feel as though they are merely instruments in my plan of action. So I tell them how much I valued their contributions. I spread this goodwill. Sometime soon it will come back to me and, with their co-operation smoothing the way, I will be able to make more decisions.