19 Influencing Skills (Plus Tips for Influencing Others)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated August 15, 2022

Published April 20, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Being influential in the workplace can aid in your professional success by helping you be an outstanding leader and accomplish business goals. Building influencing skills can help you encourage and persuade colleagues to support your goals and ideas.

In this article, we explain what influencing skills are, how you can use these skills and tips for developing your influencing skills.

What are influencing skills?

Influencing skills are your abilities to encourage and persuade others to adopt your ideas. The skill to influence others can be beneficial for leaders to motivate people and make their teams more productive. Here are some common skills that contribute to being influential:

Active listening

Active listening is an ability that means you hear what people say and understand what they said, implied and intended with their words. If you have actively listened to someone, then you can repeat what they said and convey the meaning to another person. This skill is useful for influencing others because understanding people and your surroundings can determine how you should behave to persuade them.

Assertiveness

Being assertive is a skill very useful to leaders and people in a position of authority. Assertiveness means being able to communicate your own thoughts and desires confidently and effectively. Often, an assertive person can command respect and communicate on the behalf of others. Earning respect from peers can encourage them to accept your ideas and motivate them to listen to you.

Awareness

Awareness is noticing your surroundings and your own consciousness. This includes the environment and the people you are with, including their behaviors and your thoughts, feelings and actions. Being aware of yourself helps judge your actions and ensure that your behavior and reactions are productive and set an example for those around you.

Communication

Communication skills involve verbal, nonverbal and listening skills to interact with others and share thoughts. Being able to communicate effectively with others is essential to influencing them. You should speak clearly about your goals and ideas so that you can convince others about your viewpoint and help you achieve desired results.

Good communication encourages teamwork and helps people understand one another, so it can often be the first step to influencing others.

Read more: 7 Tips for Improving Communication Skills

Critical thinking

Critical-thinking skills are the ability to analyze and interpret information and use it to guide your beliefs and behavior. Critical-thinking skills can help influencers interpret others' behavior and analyze it to set a course for their actions.

Read more: What's the Importance of Critical Thinking in the Workplace?

Empathy

Empathy is the ability to understand and relate to another person's feelings. Understanding others can help you learn ways of influencing them. Empathy skills also help build relationships and become a reliable figure in another's life.

Endurance

Endurance is remaining persistent during hardship or a stressful situation. Persistence can help you achieve your desired results as an influencer. Having endurance can motivate you to continue your efforts of persuading team members to take your side or adopt your viewpoint.

Intuition

Intuition is a skill that relies on instincts to understand a situation. Using intuition can allow you to predict the behavior of others, which can guide your methods of influencing them. Having good intuition skills can also save time in reasoning and planning because your instincts can determine decisions and help you make decisions quickly.

Interpretation

Interpretation is the ability to make educated and accurate assumptions based on information. You can use interpretation skills to understand data, people and situations. You can make interpretations based on a person's nonverbal behavior, such as facial expression, posture and gestures, and use this information to guide your reactions toward that person. Knowing how to interact with people individually can help you be more personable and influential to them.

Interpersonal

Interpersonal skills are the ability to relate and communicate with others and form relationships. Building relationships with people on your team or in your workplace is an important step to being able to influence them. You can use interpersonal skills to understand others and learn how to work with them. This encourages teamwork and makes you more successful at work.

Read more: Interpersonal Skills: Definitions and Examples

Innovation

Innovation is using creative and unique techniques to accomplish a task. Being innovative helps you to earn attention from peers and can often lead to others respecting you and relying on you to guide them in work processes. Creativity can also inspire others, which is a benefit of being able to influence team members.

Leadership

Leadership skills are abilities to hold positions of power and guide others toward accomplishing goals. Leadership skills can help earn you an authoritative role that can increase your opportunities to influence others. Being in charge of others is not a requirement for influencing them, but being a good leader helps put your ideas into action.

Read more: 15 Tips for Influencing Others as a Leader

Motivational

Motivational skills are the abilities that help you encourage others to perform certain tasks. Motivating others can be an effect of influence. A positive attitude and being a good teammate can help you be motivational.

Negotiation

Negotiation skills are the ability to compromise with others and achieve a conclusion that is pleasant for all involved parties. Negotiation skills are important for influencing others to accept your ways of thinking because you may compromise some ideas to gain the support of team members.

Read more: Negotiation Skills: Definitions and Examples

Observation

Observation skills involve using your senses to gather information. In a workplace, you most commonly use your hearing and sight senses to observe your work environment and your colleagues. Great observation skills mean you pay attention to details and notice others' behaviors. Observations can help make judgments on how you should react and can help plan strategies to influence others.

Persuasion

Persuasion is the ability to convince others to agree with you. You can use persuasion to reduce conflict and encourage others to listen to you.

Problem-solving

Problem-solving skills help you identify problems and create solutions. When you have a solution you'd like to share at work, it is useful to be good at influencing others to consider and accept your idea.

Self-confidence

Self-confidence is believing in yourself and accepting who you are. Displaying self-confidence encourages others to want to be like you and listen to you. Self-confidence also helps to exude a certain sense of expertise that allows people to trust and follow you.

Time management

Time management is being organized and accomplishing tasks at the right time. Time-management skills can increase your abilities to plan and strategize. These skills help you develop ways to influence your colleagues.

Tips for developing your influencing skills

Here are tips to develop your influencing skills:

Gain trust

Gaining the trust of your colleagues puts you in a better position to influence them. Here are ways to earn trust:

  • Be honest

  • Be dependable

  • Trust others

Network

Networking means meeting people in the industry and building relationships. A solid professional network can increase your credibility, which can encourage others to listen to you. You can likely find and attend networking events related to your field or based on your level of experience. For example, you may be able to attend a young professionals networking conference or a real estate networking event.

Read more: Top Networking Skills You Should Have (And How To Improve Them)

Give constructive feedback

Giving constructive feedback can show others that you have good ideas and are committed to being helpful. Accepting criticism is also key to giving and getting constructive feedback. Feedback is beneficial in a work environment because it leads to both personal and company growth.

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