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Make an Impact: How to Establish Presence and Influence People

Sudhakar I. Prabu
Sudhakar I. Prabu

A leader has to be purposeful in establishing presence and intentional in using influence to make their time spent communicating beneficial.

Researchers over the years have established that during a work day, leaders and managers spend more than 70 percent to 90 percent of their time in communication.

To be effective and to maximize the impact of time spent in communication, a leader has to be purposeful in establishing their presence and intentional in using influence to make their time spent in communication yield a better outcome.

Leadership excellence requires a leader to make an impact with time spend in communication highly rewarding and results in beneficial outcomes.

Here are the five things you can do better if you invest in establishing and sustaining your presence and learn to exert influence:

1. Differentiate Yourself, Showcase Your Uniqueness

When you understand what makes you unique and offer your uniqueness in ways that benefit others teams, organization, a business you can successfully create and establish leadership presence. Your talents, the natural way one thinks and feels, hold the key to understanding “who you are” and decode your uniqueness, what differentiates you from others. It is the talents that explain why you are better at some things than others.

According to Gallup Research, the likelihood of someone sharing the top five talent themes in the exact sequence as yours is one in 33.39 million, this shows both how unique you are as an individual as well as demonstrates the complexity of human nature. The wonderful thing about talent, the naturally recurring patterns of thinking and feeling, is that they hold great potential for success. Talents help you differentiate yourself and position your uniqueness to gain a competitive advantage by establishing a presence and exerting influence.

How to Discover Uniqueness and Unleash the Potential:

  • Deepen the understanding of the multidimensional aspects of your dominant talents.
  • Have clarity of who you are, what you stand for, and to be Known by others define the Brand YOU.
  • Value your unique talents and assume responsibility for investing in what gives you a natural advantage and playing to your advantage.

2. Understand People and Regulate Behaviors Appropriately

Understanding yourself helps the understanding of others. Having clarity on who you are why you make certain choices, your natural way of responding to situations is important to understand those around you. Greater the clarity you have on who you are and why you behave the way you do, the better you can regulate your behaviors to have an appealing presence and deeper influence.

Enhanced self-awareness, a deeper understanding of strengths and limitations, being aware of how you think, feel, and behave and how it filters your world, how you build relationships, influence others, get things done, and process information will help you position your presence appropriately and deepen your influence to get things done.

How to Enhance Self-Awareness:

  • Explore: What is your authentic self? What are the moments you say to yourself, this is the real me?
  • Know: why you behave the way you behave and why you respond to a situation in a particular way?
  • Proactively regulate behaviors based on how you are perceived by others for presence and influence.

3. Be Seen or Considered as a Leader, Gain Acceptance

The advantage of Leadership presence, to be seen as a leader or to be considered as leadership material, is the hearing ears and willing hearts, receptive people ready to hear what the leader have to say. When the opportunity is used purposefully, it opens the door to lead people towards shared vision and mutually agreed goals. When presence is built, purposefully and consciously, on the foundation of authenticity, the connection established and credibility earned, it expands and deepens a leaders' and managers' circle of influence.

Having interpersonal and social skills that enable a leader to connect with people at both emotional and rational levels, that is when leadership presence transcends from presence as a mere perception first impression or image projected to collaborative relationships that lead to better business outcomes. Leadership presence build on trust and credibility earned through values demonstrated, the vision articulated, and competence displayed can be sustained for a long duration.

What Can You Do to Establish Presence:

  • Take conscious effort to connect with people through Vision, Values, Openness, and Mutual appreciation.
  • Seeking a Coach or a mentor,  presence can be developed and influence can be deepened through personal reflection, coaching, and practice. 

4. Influence People and Accomplish Goals

Intentional influence impacts business results by driving behavioral change, by changing attitudes and actions of people inside and outside of the organization. Intentional influence, using interactions effectively, can shape both understanding and expectation, as a result, move parties towards shared vision, mutually acceptable goals and agreement, lead people to action that benefits everyone involved.

Getting people to listen, leadership presence is just the first step; it is the intentional influence that leads to action and results in accomplishments. Influence happens through interaction, Intentional influence is not a one-way traffic driven by an influencer’s agenda, rather it is about creating a climate of openness by breaking barriers. Openness to listen makes others listen to you, in that interaction and dialogue intentional influence is possible.

How to Become an Intentional Influencer

  • Use the right mix of influence strategies to have an effect and get an appropriate response.
  • Build trust and give a compelling reason, avoid mistakes that hurt you in the long run.
  • Appropriately use influence process and power bases to have an effect.

5. Enlarge the Circle of Influence 360 Degrees

Presence and influence, build on authenticity and credibility, opens doors to people. Building strong collaborative relationships at all levels customers, employees, and hierarchies expand a leaders' and managers' circle of influence and enable leaders to accomplish shared goals through people.

Building trusting relationship and enhanced interactions across hierarchical levels and lateral boundaries through explaining your point of view and listening to understand others help leaders and managers to build collaborative partnerships and enlarge the circle of influence.

How to Expand and Deepen the Circle of Influence:

  • Evaluate and discover personal dynamics that help or hinder your presence and influence.
  • Be authentic, reach out and be open to people, build collaborative relationships at all levels.
  • Establish clarity on the source of your influence and use influence tools meaningfully.

Using presence and influence, leaders and managers can use numerous interactions and conversation that occur during the work day to influence employees, clients and customers, colleagues and even their boss to accomplish goals.

Image Credit: Fizkes / Getty Images
Sudhakar I. Prabu
Sudhakar I. Prabu Member
Sudhakar I. Prabu - Executive & Leadership Coach, Leadership Development Consultant, Performance Improvement Consultant. Accelerating, Maximizing & Optimizing Organization Performance and Leadership Development are the two key focuses that binds together many different things i do as a Consultant, Coach, & Facilitator. This also clearly explains my professional focus and area of interest. My top 5 Gallup Clifton Strengths are : Ideation, Strategic, Futuristic, Maximizer, Learner. If you want to know what gets the best out of me, here it is: facilitating leadership excellence workshops as well as collaborate with leaders as leadership coach and executive coach. My signature leadership excellence workshop are: (1) Leadership Presence and Influence; (2) Leading people and Delivering Results; (3) Leadership Thinking and Innovation; (4) Leadership teams and Collaboration. As a consultant I enjoy the credibility and appreciation for, as an accomplished consultant, who know the tricks and tools for accelerating, maximizing, & optimizing organizational performance and leadership development solutions. The things I enjoy during the consulting assignment include: Design & implement comprehensive human performance improvement projects at both organizational & functional levels, develop learning & development strategies, anchor and drive end-to-end change management initiatives, and design leadership development strategies. My interest and curiosity to know and understand People, Leadership, and Organizations play a key role in enabling me to discover many different facts and perspectives that help me thrive in many different roles I play in my career. Email: sudhakar(at) +91-11-65669545