8 Ways to be a Positive Influence in the Workplace
Leaders are one of the most essential elements of any organization. Without them, teams would struggle to stay on track, lacking a clear sense of guidance and support to turn to when challenges arise. Leaders also need to strive to be positive influences in their workplace.
Why is it important to be a positive influence?
Anyone who interacts with others is someone who influences others. The way you act and speak, how you manage your feelings, and the decisions you make will ultimately impact people around you – even more so if you’re the leader of a team or several individuals.
The energy you put out affects others. In order to be a positive influence in your workplace, you must strive to put out a positive energy with all those you interact with. Doing so will improve your relationship with your team, and ultimately present you as an approachable and effective leader.
8 Tips to Being a Positive Influence in Your Workplace
However, being a positive influence isn’t as simple as just smiling and being happy. As a leader, there will be challenges you will have to face, and difficult conversations you will have to have. Part of being a positive influence, however, is maintaining optimism in terms of achieving your goals, even if that means overcoming obstacles along the way. Here are some tips for being a positive influence in your workplace.
1. Find purpose in what you do
Embracing meaningful work and one that fulfils what you deem to be a worthwhile purpose, while finding meaning in your current job, is the first important step to becoming a positive influencer. When you have a sense of direction and attachment to a cause, you become more engaged with your responsibilities and duties, and are much more likely to share what you’ve learned with others. Doing something because you want to, as opposed to doing it because you have to, will enable you to be a much more positive influence in your workplace.
2. Acknowledge that you are not perfect
Positive influencers aren’t afraid to admit that they don’t know the answer to something. Claiming that you’re perfect and don’t make mistakes isn’t likely to give your team a positive impression of you. Instead, continuously trying to better yourself and seeking out opportunities to learn new skills and information is a good way to show that you care enough to invest yourself in what you are doing. When workers see someone that isn’t afraid to ask questions, and continues to try and learn and grow, it enables them to consistently strive to learn and improve themselves.
3. Build win-win relationships
Positive relationships that are beneficial to everyone involved are the foundation of successful networking. Leaders shouldn’t try to use their influence to get people to just do what they want – instead, they should focus on building collaborative relationships that are win-win for all. Building authentic, supportive relationships can help all parties succeed in their objectives.
4. Look ahead
While it’s important to take note of how things are in the present, positive influencers also look ahead to what things can become. This is especially true today, when many organizations as a whole are rapidly losing morale and optimism due to the current state of business. Gauging what a team is capable of, and what goals they can reach, and inspiring them to do so is a great example of positive influence. Consistently reminding team members of what is to come, and maintaining a positive outlook on the improvements that are to be made and the possibilities of the future of the company, is absolutely critical. With the right leader, teams will be able to see the future as something bright, and will ultimately be much more motivated to work to make the changes they want to see.
5. Be open to criticisms
Positive influencers want to better themselves, meaning they are open to critiques and criticisms from those who surround them. You can never accurately gauge where you stand without asking others for their input, especially if your work and efforts directly affect them. Leaders should not only be comfortable in accepting constructive feedback, they should actually encourage it. When you embrace feedback that looks to improve upon your work this helps those surrounding you remain receptive and open to their own feedback, creating a culture of support and mutual improvement. Positive influencers see criticism as a challenge that they are excited to take on.
6. Help others as you ascend
A leader who wishes to maintain respect and followership, does not exploit their employee’s hard work but rather promotes that person’s accomplishment. They give recognition and credit due to the individual(s) who are responsible and place the employee’s success ahead of their own.
7. Show your appreciation for others
Demonstrating that you care enough about others to openly appreciate their accomplishments is critical to being a positive influence in the workplace. If a coworker reaches a goal they’ve been striving towards – whether it’s work related or not – it’s easy to congratulate them, and even celebrate if the achievement calls for it. On the flip side of things, when a coworker or employee is having a tough time, empathizing with them and encouraging them is very important. Help them recognize their strengths to course-correct and reestablish focus.
8. Use your influence positively
Caring about your team and your goals is a good way to ensure that your authority and position is used for the greatest good of the company. Simple demonstrations of placing your employee’s needs above your own will inevitably build positive and trusting relationships which of course benefit everyone.
It goes without saying that the best leaders are those who are also positive influences. This isn’t a skill that someone has to be born with but more likely a series of intentional efforts. Now more than ever, organizations need leaders that remain positive even when faced with hardships and challenges. Maintaining a positive outlook on the future of business, rather than giving in to negative energies, is critical in maintaining team-wide morale and enthusiasm.