Influencing Those You Lead

One thing is certain of every leader, you are always influencing those you lead. In other words, you have no control over who you influence, but you can certainly determine what your influence will be. It could either be negative, demeaning, controlling, and abusive or it can be positive, uplifting, respectful and valuing.

Let us look at some key factors that are necessary to have the kind of influence that will motivate your followers to do their best work.

Self-awareness. Before you can relate to others in a healthy way you must know who you are. As a leader you need to have knowledge of what motivates you, what upsets you, what energizes you and what drains your energy? What are your strengths and what are your challenges? Take the Strengthsfinder, Enneagram and Myers-Briggs assessments and get coached on what these mean to gain better self-awareness.

Openness to Change. This could be a challenge for many leaders. Especially when you are asked to lead during a difficult and trying time for the organization. It is very easy for the leader to think she/he has all the answers and not be open to listening to those they are leading. Good and wise leaders know that they don’t know it all, and are open to the input of those they are leading to make changes when necessary.

Be respectful at all times. This can be done is several ways. Never trivialize a person’s point of view. Give everyone a time to share their views on a matter. And avoid interrupting or cutting people off when they are speaking.

When you hear something that concerns you about someone you are leading, make it a matter of policy that the next person you talk to about those concerns is the person you heard the concerns about. The person will feel valued and respected by you and will respect you for coming to them.

Keep your promises. As the leader it is sometimes very easy to promise more than you can deliver. If you said you would follow up on a matter by a certain date, do it. If you cannot keep a promise you made because of circumstances beyond your control, let your followers know before they have to ask.

Be on time. Schedule your appointments far enough apart so they don’t run into each other and you can’t keep your promise of being on time. How many times have you arrived late for one appointment and the have to leave it early because you are running late for your next appointment?

Whether it is an appointment or getting something done by a certain date, keeping your promises will convey to your followers your value and respect them, and that you are reliable person they can trust.

Influencing those you lead to be motivated to do their best work for you will require you to be intentional in knowing who you are, being open to change, respecting others at all times and keeping your promises. It is hard work. But the result will far outweigh the effort you invest.

It’s not a matter of who you will influence, but what kind of influence you are to those you lead.

If you would like help in achieving your goals as a leader or in any area of your life, call us at 208-880-0307 or email us at to schedule a complimentary coaching session. To read Errol’s other posts, visit Christ-Centered Life Coaching.