Your sphere of influence is where your opinion holds some weight.
Sphere of influence is not only reserved for leaders and managers. Everyone has a sphere, in all walks of life.
Think of yourself in the context of your family, community and social settings.
Many things you think are outside your sphere of influence, are not.
Financial reward is low on the list of what employees’ value most at work. People want to feel valued, heard, feel appreciated, noticed and respected.
As a leader it is not hard to make people feel valued. Great leaders make appreciation, recognition and development happen.
We experience positive psychological effects when we are appreciated and recognised.
If you, or the people you report to, hold you have no sphere of influence – there is a problem!
Ways to build influence
Your sphere of influence builds over time. As it builds, so do the risks and fear; so, do you. Discover and build your leadership impact and increase your sphere of influence by:
- Being consistent. People come to rely on this consistency and you.
- Being flexible. People will be open to negotiating if they see you are not rigid and fixed.
- Being helpful and encouraging. The more you offer the more your influence will increase. The more you share and seek feedback the more engaging people will become.
- Being creative and imaginative. Good ideas are powerful, thought provoking and challenging.
- Showing your value. Help people solve their problems; they benefit, and you increase your value (in their eyes).
- Listening, communicating and networking –important, no further explanation necessary!!
You want to be honest, respectful, understanding and willing to go the hard yards. You become your leader – modelling the way.
How to construct your sphere of influence.
Image the pebble thrown into the water. It has immediate and localised influence at the point of entry/contact.
The closer the relationship, the stronger the influence.
Now, design your own sphere of influence. Consider the picture above as an example.
Answer the following questions:
- What aspects/who do you have direct influence over?
- What aspects/who do you have indirect influence over?
- Who do you have indirect influence through?
- Where do you have no influence – what is outside your sphere of influence?
Notice your role, strategies and approaches in exerting your influence.
- How is influence reflected for you?
- Do you need resources to increase your sphere of influence? If so, what?
- What are the implications of your communication, leadership, behaviours and qualities?
- How might your sphere of influence affect you over the next few years?
How do you want to enhance your influence?