Being influential can have a considerable positive impact on your life. It helps you communicate your ideas and needs, makes others more likely to accept them, and ultimately can help you get what you want. It's an asset in your personal life, to be sure, but also in the workplace. Regardless of your rank, being influential will aid your professional growth and success.
A recent Business Insider article notes that while influence—"the capacity or power someone has to be a persuasive or compelling force to produce effects on the actions, behavior, or opinion of others"—can come with a position or a title, it is not guaranteed, and influencing skills are vital to professional success no matter what rung of the corporate ladder you stand on.
Women are particularly challenged as they try to become more influential at work. According to Business Insider, there are numerous stories of men and women independently presenting identical material and being treated differently. To help women raise their level of influence at work, the article outlines a list of strategies. We've highlighted our favorites here:
Keep your skills and knowledge up to date. Continually strive to be your best self and stay ahead of the competition by keeping your skills current and seeking new opportunities to learn. Business Insider recommends online courses, MOOCs, blogs, books, and podcasts as accessible learning sources you can effectively integrate into your life.
Have a strong command over your communication style. The "communication playing field" is uneven between men and women. As a result, the latter must be even more self-aware about how they communicate at the office. The article defines two types of communication styles—agentic (masculine) and communal (feminine)—and asserts that one must find a balance between the two and adjust depending on the situational context.
Believe in yourself. Have confidence in your unique skillset, experience, and what you offer to the company. Business Insider notes that women regularly underestimate their competence, so don't cut yourself short.
Check out the full list on Business Insider, and tell us what strategies work for you.