19 Influencing Skills (Plus Tips for Influencing Others)

To be truly effective — in good times and in times of great challenge — leaders must master the ability to influence others. By definition, influence is the ability to affect the behavior of others in a particular direction, leveraging key tactics that involve, connect, and inspire them.

That’s why we’ve identified “influencing others” as one of the 4 core leadership skills needed in every role. (Communicating, learning agility, and self-awareness are the other 3.)

Without the expertise and ability to influence others, the truly important things in work and in life can’t be achieved.

But effective leaders don’t just command; they inspire, persuade, and encourage. Leaders tap the knowledge and skills of a group, point individuals toward a common goal and consensus, and draw out a commitment to achieve results.

What are good influencing skills?
  1. Build Rapport. …
  2. Identify What’s in it for Them. …
  3. Make it Mutual. …
  4. Identify what Their View is. …
  5. Don’t Worry about Who gets the Credit. …
  6. Develop Your Current Relationships. …
  7. Expand Your Network. …
  8. Find out What Motivates Them.

How to Influence Different Types of People – Leadership Training

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 to influencing others, because understanding people and your surroundings can determine how you should behave in order to persuade them.


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 in a confident and effective manner. 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 is noticing your surroundings and your own conscious. 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 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. Its important that you can speak clearly about your goals and ideas so that you can convince others to 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.

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.


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


Endurance is a skill of 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 efforts of persuading team members to take your side or adopt your viewpoint.


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 reasoning and planning, because your instincts can determine decisions and help you make decisions quickly.


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 persons nonverbal behavior, such as facial expression and body language, 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 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.


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 skills are abilities to hold positions of power and guide others toward accomplishing goals. Leaderships 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 to influencing them, but being a good leader helps put your ideas into action.


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 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 in order to gain support of team members.


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


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:


Networking means to meet people in the industry and build 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.

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.


How do you demonstrate influence skills?

You can demonstrate an ability to influence by listening closely to those who disagree with your position. When you acknowledge someone else’s viewpoint, you establish rapport. This can encourage your opponent to give you the same courtesy and listen to your viewpoint.

What are the four types of influence?

So having influence means more than just doing all the talking; it’s about taking charge and understanding the roles that positional power, emotion, expertise, and nonverbal signals play. These four aspects of influence are essential to master if you want to succeed as a leader. Take positional power.

What are the 3 keys to influence?

  • The Art Of Persuasion. Leaders need to share their own values and passion with the person, group, or company they’re working to influence. …
  • Inspiring Commitment. Once you’ve persuaded others to join your cause, you need to keep them on board in order to execute it. …
  • Strategic Control.

How do you influence others?

The ultimate guide to becoming more influential at work (or anywhere else)
  1. Listen without interruption. …
  2. Act with integrity. …
  3. Do what you say you’re going to do. …
  4. Give others a voice. …
  5. Take care of yourself. …
  6. Be relevant with your skills. …
  7. Stay focused on what matters. …
  8. Engage with others.

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