MANAGEMENT: The Art of Influence

MANAGEMENT: The Art of Influence

MANAGEMENT: The Art of Influence

You could have the best ideas in the world, but what difference does it make if you can’t rally your team behind those ideas?’s Marc Mencher’s examines the art of influence…

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Being a successful team leader in the videogames industry — or any industry — is all about knowing how to express your ideas and how to arouse enthusiasm among your people. It’s about influencing your team to get them to do what you want them to do.

But having the ability to influence others isn’t about forcing them to listen to you or to accept your ideas. Rather it’s about finding the right combination of words, expressed the right way, to persuade them to either embrace your ideas enthusiastically or to believe that they were their ideas all along. This isn’t as sinister as it may sound.

Motivation Is The Key
You are more likely to gain people’s cooperation if you have a good relationship with them. Look for opportunities to establish mutual interests and respect. Offer people support when they need it, and they will then be more likely to respond favorably to your requests for cooperation.

Always aim to engage people’s interests. When you give a team member a new task or an additional responsibility, give the details of the whole project to increase a sense of involvement. Knowing the big picture motivates people because they can see how their contribution will support a successful outcome.

People are motivated to do what they like doing. They may not, however, be motivated to do what you want them to do. Discover people’s values by asking what’s important to them. Stay away from personal questions and focus on career and workplace satisfaction.
moscalloutPeople are motivated to do what they like doing. They may not, however, be motivated to do what you want them to do./moscalloutParticipating in decision-making motivates people. When you talk to a co-worker or team member about how a job could be done, view it as an exercise in joint problem-solving. Explore different approaches and brainstorm about how to achieve a workable agreement. Once you have agreed on a goal, let your colleague have some influence over the process to assure commitment to the outcome.

Getting people to work together as a team isn’t easy. Your best chance is to define a common purpose that everyone can believe in. This could be high standards, recognition of good work, a community idea, or mutual growth. Whatever it is, it has to be something people are willing to give up their time and effort to have. Look carefully at the team’s function; what is its purpose?  What would it mean for it to do well?  Then you will be in a position to outline these values to the team.

Your team members will differ in their interests, needs, ages, motivations and cultural backgrounds. Your job is to motivate them to work for themselves and for the team. Once you’ve defined the team’s purpose and goals, discuss how each member can contribute. Establish what each person likes to do and most wants to achieve, then provide as many opportunities as possible for these goals to be achieved without losing sight of the overall project goal.

Sometimes it’s not enough just to want to do a task. People need to know how to do it and then get the chance to put their plans into action. Give your team the best chance of success by providing the necessary authority, budget, training, and support. If time is an issue, work with them to change priorities, reassign tasks, and improve time management. When they’re successful, you’re successful — and they’ll appreciate the effort you made on their behalf.