Being influential is a key leadership quality.
Making persuasive arguments is critical to leading your team forward.
And to managing upwards.
What drives influence?
There are three things:
- Our personal credibility. Our track record of good and reliable judgement builds our credibility. This works best when the person we’re trying to persuade has personal experience with us. But our reputation can also precede us.
- The credibility of our underlying argument. Whatever we’re proposing has to fundamentally make sense.
- How clearly we articulate our argument. Substance (i.e. the credibility of the underlying argument) trumps style. But substance presented with style – with clarity – comes out on top.
The first lever takes time. But the better and more consistently we do 2 and 3, the quicker we build it.