Want to become the most powerful person in the office? Here's how...
Being able to influence other people is a skill, and a vital one if you’re going to get ahead in your career, so we’ve spoken to clinical chartered psychologist Dr Abigael San to discover how you can become the most influential person in the office. Watch out world!
Stick to the point
Waffling is a major no-go when it comes to getting others to come on board with your suggestions ‘Always be concise in what you say and don’t include any information that is irrelevant to your main point,’ says Abigael.
Sell it to them
Even if the conversation veers off-topic, you need to keep coming back to your main point whenever possible. ‘Know what you want to say and keep bringing up your point to sell your message,’ says Abigael. ‘Avoid becoming a broken record, though.’
Look them in the eye
When we’re nervous or insecure, it’s all too easy to avoid eye contact at all costs, but this won’t convince anyone that you know what you’re talking about. ‘Always maintain good eye contact,’ Abigael advises. ‘Without scaring anyone, of course!’
Work out why you care
You’ll be more likely to convince others that you’re right if you really believe in something. ‘You need to be sincere about your point,’ says Abigael. ‘Work out exactly why you care about what you’re saying. When you’re more aware of why you care, you’ll gain a level of sincerity.’ This should make you far more convincing.
‘If you act confident people will trust you,’ explains Abigael. ‘You need to know you’re right without appearing arrogant.’ Even if you don’t feel confident, try to fake it. ‘If you believe in yourself, that engages people,’ says Abigael.
A winning smile can often help support your point. But beware of being ‘too smiley’, warns Abigael. Colleagues need to know you mean business.
Being warm and engaging is usually a recipe for success. ‘Always try to have a friendly demeanour and be approachable,’ says Abigael.
Even if you passionately believe in something, avoid getting into a blazing row. ‘Never be rude and remain polite even if the issue is contentious,’ warns Abigael.
Being aggressive will never convince people to adopt your viewpoint. ‘Never be aggressive,’ says Abigael. ‘This will prevent others from becoming defensive.’
Think about others
The key to winning people over is demonstrating that you care about how they feel. ‘Being assertive means pushing for what you want while still caring about how other people in the room feel,’ says Abigael. No one likes a tyrant.
Don’t put yourself down
People often undermine their own point by injecting self-deprecating elements into their dialogue, such as ‘I may be wrong but’. ‘Avoid saying anything self-deprecating,’ says Abigael. ‘People usually do this because of insecurity, and even secure people sometimes do it because they want to make others feel better about themselves.’