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Fading into the background? How to boost your influence at work

Want to up your status as a leader at work? Try these techniques!

Fading into the background? How to boost your influence at work

Being influential at work can give your career a serious boost. Employers are always wanting to snap up their next influential leader. They don’t want leaders who fade into the background. 

But what do you do if you DON’T feel influential? What if you feel like your voice always gets drowned out? Or people don’t listen to you?

Is it possible to learn to be influential?


You can train yourself to become more influential. You may have to step outside of your comfort zone. But it will be worth it in the end.

Here are 6 ways you can build your influence at work:

  • Build relationships
  • Be vocal
  • Don’t tell, suggest
  • Act with integrity
  • Network
  • Use open body language

6 ways to build influence in the workplace

1. Build relationships

You can’t expect to influence people if you don’t have a relationship with them. The first step in becoming a powerful influencer at work is to build genuine relationships with your colleagues. Take an interest in them. Actively listen to them.

2. Be vocal

To be influential at work, you need your voice to be heard. When you have new ideas, share them with the group. In meetings, don’t be the silent watcher in the back row. Get involved and become an active participant. Over time, you’ll soon be recognised as a valuable voice that people listen to. 

3. Don’t tell, suggest

People don’t like to take orders from others. The most powerful influencers don’t give out orders. They suggest ideas instead. Here are a few examples of how you can change your language to be more persuasive:

Instead of:

“Please can you start filing the documents in alphabetical order?”


“It must take a long time to sort through those files. Do you think it would save you time if you filed the documents in alphabetical order?”

Instead of:

“You’re forgetting really important tasks.”


“I know how hard it can be to remember things when you’re so busy. Have you thought about setting reminders?”

4. Act with integrity

There’s nothing quite like building relationships through integrity. When you act with integrity, people trust you. They know they can rely on you for accurate information. They value what you have to say. So always act honourably to set yourself apart as an influencer. Always remain professional, especially during workplace socials.

5. Network

Networking is a great way to build your influence. Build relationships with people in different departments and members of management. This will expand your network and increase your influencing power. It’s not always what you know, but who you know.

Use open body language

Your body language speaks louder than your words. So get in the habit of using open body language, smiling more, and making eye contact. These are all subconscious ways you can build trust with the people around you. It takes a little practise. But over time, you’ll become more natural with it. 

Example of open body language:

  • Uncrossing your arms
  • Keep your arms on the table
  • Not covering your face with your hands
  • Mirroring others’ body language

A new way of being

When you step up your influence game, it can feel kinda strange at first. But after a while, these new behaviours become second nature. And before you know it, you’ve grown into the influential leader you’ve always wanted to be! Just remember, it doesn’t come naturally to most folks. So don’t get disheartened if it feels out of your comfort zone.

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