Leadership Matters

Created to help you become the leader everyone wants to work for.

3 Ways to Increase Your Personal Influence


There’s an important distinction between positional leadership and personal leadership and personal influence is more powerful because it is portable—it travels with you from position to position.  Relying on your position to influence people often feels like manipulation to them,  while personal influence conveys more of a “we’re in this together” feeling.  New leaders often start out exerting positional influence, because they don’t know any better. 

To work toward developing your ability to connect with others and to influence people based on who you are as a person rather than what your role is, you need to be deliberate.  Developing personal influence is a process that requires commitment and intention.  For many, it is a life-long pursuit.  And here are three things that can provide an immediate boost and get you started on the right path:

  1. Make gratitude a daily practice. Develop better awareness of how others are contributing to your success.  This takes a conscious effort.  Once you focus your attention, it will become easier to recognize just how much you rely on others for your success in big and small ways.  It is important to acknowledge this by explicit expressions of appreciation.  A simple yet sincere “thank you” can go a long way to improving someone’s attitude and outlook, including your own.
  2. Become a better listener. And, spend more time doing it.  Pay attention to what is said, as well as what isn’t said.  Tune in to tone and body language to pick up on nuances that might carry an important message.  Use your own “active listening” body language to convey interest in others.  Giving someone your undivided attention is one of the best ways to make them feel valued. 
  3. Learn how to build trust. Develop the habit of paying closer attention to the promises you make. Start with keeping commitments to yourself, especially the small ones.  Understand the behaviors that create and increase trust and practice demonstrating those behaviors in all your interactions with family, friends, coworkers and customers. Make being trustworthy a non-negotiable goal in your life.

Here are some of my favorite resources to support your efforts:

  1. Keep a gratitude journal. Click Here for one I recommend.  Starting or ending each day with this practice will help you develop a focus on all that you currently take for granted.
  2. Read my active listening guide: Are You Listening? For a special, limited-time price of $7, you will learn how to avoid bad habits and become a conscious listener. Click here to download your copy.
  3. Read Stephen M.R. Covey’s The Speed of Trust, one of my all-time favorite books. Learn about “the one thing that changes everything” and start today to build more trust.