How to Be Better at Influencing Others

How to Be Better at Influencing Others

Your ability to lead, motivate and inspire others is dependent on how effectively you can influence others.

As a personal assistant or office professional, influence is one of the most powerful skills that you can have. It can impact your career opportunities and success, personal as well as business relationships, and ultimately, your financial rewards. If that isn’t enough to peak your interest then perhaps nothing will!

Like many other leadership skills, the ability to influence others doesn’t necessarily come naturally. The ability to influence can be learned and developed with practice and is well worth the effort when you consider the potential benefits.

Influencing doesn’t only happen downwards, you may also need to influence up, including your boss. Perhaps it might be to increase budgets, approve projects, or your peers to assist you in sharing knowledge or resources. It’s not hard to see why this is a skill worth doing and doing well if you want to make things happen at all levels.

It’s not hard to see why this is a skill worth doing and doing well if you want to make things happen at all levels.

“The key to successful leadership today is influence not authority.” – Kenneth Blanchard


Communication skills and in particular listening, are the building blocks to successful influencing.

Combine this with self-confidence and a thorough knowledge of your subject area or product and an unfailing belief in what you are trying to achieve are essential. You can’t ‘sell’ anything well that you don’t believe in, know enough about or when you yourself lack self-belief.

In the simplest terms, influence means to effect change in a person’s behaviour by changing their attitude, opinion or point of view and inspire some kind of action as a result.

If you want to help your team to work smarter, faster, more creatively, longer or just plain harder you must first understand their current perspective.


It is important to listen to what they say as well as what they don’t say, watch for visual and non-verbal cues, and be present in the moment instead of framing the next question before the current has been answered. Active listening and real interest is the starting point that shows you actually care. You can’t expect anyone to care about your goals and expectations if you don’t care about theirs.

“I hold that a strongly marked personality can influence descendants for generations.” ― Beatrix Potter

Focus on the other person

Offer some kind of gift or reward up front in the spirit of reciprocity and this will also increase your influence. Being generous with your kindness, time, skills and knowledge in a genuine way will engage others and inspire action, as well as a desire to return the favour in the direction you have inspired. That’s what happens when influence and leadership are combined.

This applies to any office professionals including personal assistants, executive assistants, administration assistants or coordinators. Working to reach your highest potential? Contact Athena Coaching to talk about tailoring a solution that is as individual as you are.

Athena Coaching

Linda Murray is a successful businesswoman, coach, strategist and mentor, speaker and trainer. Linda’s talent is teaching women to increase their commercial success while using their authentic feminine approach. She mixes her personal experience in business, her strong academic background and her observations of hundreds of businesses to show businesswomen and female executives how to enjoy greater commercial outcomes and accelerated individual success. Linda has coached countless clients to greater success through improved business strategies, increased profits, leadership development, increased team engagement and greater personal satisfaction and commercial confidence. Linda balances the extremes required in business. She has the unique ability to focus on both the big picture and the details; the numbers and the people; the sales and the administration; the left-brain and the right-brain. Linda has a track record in assisting women in business and female executives to identify the commercially profitable big picture strategy and then create an achievable action plan to implement it. Linda built her first successful business in her early 20s, growing her business to a team of 25 bookkeepers and financial controllers. Linda’s business model modernised the bookkeeping industry dramatically – by constantly challenging the traditional models of client management and service delivery. After experiencing the results that business coaching delivered in her business, Linda became passionate about coaching. Linda sold her financial business to start Athena Coaching, where her clients enjoy the benefit of her proven commercial experience combined with state of the art coaching support and her exceptional academic background. Linda has a Masters of Business Coaching, a Bachelor of Arts (Psychology and Philosophy), is an Accredited Professional Coach and Certified NLP Practitioner.


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