Ep 015 Leading Without Authority: Quiet Influence on Teams, With Customers and in Flat Organizations

What’s the art of quiet influence — and how can you excel at it? Learning how to exercise influence is vital in many work situations today — on teams, with customers, in flat organizations, and especially when you don’t have formal authority but you need to drive strong results. The latest podcast from Integrity Solutions features practical tips from the front lines — in an interview with Jocelyn Davis, learning & development industry expert and author of the new book, The Art of Quiet Influence: Timeless Wisdom for Leading Without Authority.

How do you work with people that don’t report to you and yet you need to be able to collaborate with and influence them? The continual breakdown of hierarchical silos and the need for speed of execution, and the increased pace of business and technology have conspired to create much more flat and fluid organizations. People today are working much more across multiple project teams vs in traditional functions.

Three core ‘influence practices’ are discussed which can help those looking to improve teams performance, coach their teams more effectively, connect better with customers and improve overall communications skills. Jocelyn also addresses two factors that hold people back from being more influential and the issues of ‘skillset vs. mindset’ in terms of influence, leadership, coaching and teams performance.

Jocelyn also addresses challenges salespeople have around influence and handling objections and focusing instead on delivering great results for customers.

Key Leading Without Authority Podcast Takeaways:

  • The continual breakdown of hierarchical silos in organizations and the pace of new technology and business have conspired to create flatter and more fluid organizations.
  • 3 core influence practices include: inviting participation, sharing power and aiding progress
  • Being influential in the “membership phase” (aka ‘team building’) has to include inviting the group, helping them feel appreciated and valued for their contributions they can make and as people.
  • The “control phase” (sharing power) and helping other people be at their best and the “the smartest in the room” vs. obsessing about your own power and how much people are respecting you.
  • The “performance phase” (aiding progress) is about persistence, staying the course and long-term goals. Real, quite influencers stay involved, lean in, encourages their team and celebrates progress milestones while acknowledging the end goal has not yet been met.
  • In the area of handling objections (a big issue in sales), great influencers encourage the objection and invite the person to say more.
  • Increasing influence is as much about mindset- beliefs and attitudes- as it is about skillset. Some people hold themselves back by believing they cannot influence without ‘getting the authority’ (budget, decision rights, etc.).
  • Team leaders should stop worrying about getting more control and authority and focus more on doing great work with your team and lifting everyone’s game. And when you do, that will be noticed and more power and authority will come.
  • The coaching mindset of the ‘Quiet Influencer’ is about helping everyone be their best and not positioning themselves as the expert who has the right to tell people what to do and how to do it. The new view of coaching is about having the mindset to create other star players.

Podcast Quotes from Jocelyn Davis:

“What people are looking for today is, ‘how do I influence? How do I work with people who don;t report to me and yet I need to be able to collaborate and influence them?'”

“If I think in terms of the collective, think in terms of ‘raising our game’ and not just ‘how do I rack up points in my game?’ then that contribution- that ‘paying it forward’- will come back around to me in unexpected ways.”

“Power and authority are two different things. They overlap, but power is the ability to get things done- the ability to influence. And authority is the formal ‘right’- the grant of authority- to make a decision.”  

Related Links:

Jocelyn Davis’ website

Order a copy of The Art of Quite Influence

Follow Jocelyn Davis on Twitter

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