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Step up and stand out: How to be influential at work

Step up and stand out: How to be influential at work

January 16, 2014
Submitted By Lindsay Witcher
An employee’s influence is built with the respect that comes from showing over and over again that they’re well suited to give input, assistance and advice. Building influence is a solid career management solution for people looking to advance in their career. When someone needs help, be it with navigating the internal company structure or handling a sticky client situation, they will go to someone who has influence. Influencers are known to others to be reliable, dependable, and someone who can be counted on to give sound advice and make critical decisions in high stress situations. Influencers don’t overreact or get emotional. They keep a cool head and make good business decisions.

If an employee wants to become someone with influence within the organization, they need to start with the basics. There’s no secret formula, or “fast track” to becoming an influencer. They need to put in the time. They should start by learning, networking and asking questions to better understand how an organization works and where they may be able to build influence.

Then, they should begin to act like an influencer. They should conduct themselves professionally at all times, dress professionally, show respect to colleagues and offer to help others. How they communicate with others, their presence, even how they dress all contributes to how they’re viewed and whether or not they are set up to become an influencer.

Working hard and performing well at a job is another great way to build influence. People recognize when an employee not only does a job well, but also when they go above and beyond. They should consider volunteering to help others and always being willing to put in a bit more time or effort than they have to. Also, they should aim to help when asked. An employee can’t do everything, but not turning people down when they ask for help is a great way to become someone who is known for being dependable.

(What’s the next step? Consider reading: To keep up in your industry, check out the competition)

These are the kinds of things that will, over time, help an employee to build influence, regardless of their place in the organization. If people respect them – if they’re known as someone who they want to be around and want to help or be helped by – they’re going to be influential.

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