6 Ways to Exert More Influence at Work

Posted June 21, 2012 by

Ever feel like the late comedian Rodney Dangerfield — that no matter what you do at work you just “can’t get no respect?”

From the bully in the cubicle next to you to a boss who seems oblivious to your accomplishments to the people reporting to you who are loathe to make any tough decisions themselves, your day at the office carries more baggage than the annual Thanksgiving dinner at the in-laws. Yet every moment of the day when we are interacting with other human beings, there is an opportunity — if not a pressing need — to assert our influence and move closer to our various goals by cooperation of others.

What follows is a list of five circumstances in which you may find yourself interacting with the incumbent players and actors these situations feature, any of which can either stand in the way or provide critical support for your various goals and objectives.

Entire books could be written about each of these situations, but my goal was to give you at least one way of exerting influence that tilts the odds of success in each of these situations or contexts in your favor. You’re well advised to seek out additional resources, but the following should give you a start.

1. Influence with Bullies

Whether you work for one, have one on your team, or live with one, bullies can make life miserable, send productivity and morale at work into a tail-spin, and cause lasting psychological damage to victims of such harassment.

Some causes for bullying have been identified as poor problem solving skills, low self-esteem, as well as the drive for power, status and even affection.

While you don’t want to respond to a bully’s aggressive behavior in kind — meaning you lash out in the same way — it can be effective to call the bully on unacceptable behavior and let it be known you are documenting each incident of the harassment you experience. Keep your emotions in check and respond calmly and with reason to bullies. Seek feedback from your professional and social network and bolster your ranks of allies, so that when it comes to a showdown you have solid support, not to mention witnesses on your side. Bullies often display poor emotional intelligence and a lack of effective problem-solving in interpersonal conflicts and relationships in general. Improving your own emotional intelligence by better managing your emotions in response to bullying and approaching relationship strife in creative ways will help you become a less attractive victim to the bully.

If you’re in a supervisory situation, make clear that you will not tolerate bullying from anyone, and that you will set and enforce a standard of respectful behavior in the workplace. Incorporate emotional intelligence components when training new hires and new leaders, and intervene immediately to disrupt any bullying behaviors.

Finally, lead by example. Treat colleagues with respect, and  model the behavior for others to follow.  Continue reading . . .

Article by Harrison Monarth and courtesy of Salary.com

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