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  • How to Influence Others Regardless of your Position Part Three -7 Ways to Lead Downward to your...
How to Influence Others Regardless of your Position Part Three -7 Ways to Lead Downward to your Team.

Leadership isn't about position. Leadership is about using your influence exactly where you are. For teams to develop at every level, they need leaders at every level. ~John Maxwell.

Leading your team is where you have the most influence as you have direct and consistent communication with them. Therefore, it is with your personnel that you have the most impact.  Let's look at the seven principles of "leading down" to your team and others in the organization.

1. Influence by spending time with the people.

Leadership is not a person or a position. It is a complex moral relationship between people based on trust, obligation, commitment, emotion, and a shared vision of the good. ~ Joanne B. Ciulla

Spending time with your personnel is how you build relationships and influence your team. Be sure to focus less on "task" and more on the "people" of the organization.  A cup of coffee before the day starts; a quick meeting at their desk to touch base; asking how their family is doing; these connections matter to your team. These touches show you care about them and not just what they can do for the organization.  These relationships that are built help you through tough times, give you influence, and give you great joy during the celebrations.

2. Influence by seeing everyone's potential.

A leader is someone who holds her- or himself accountable for finding the potential in people and processes. ~ Brené Brown

An All-Around Leaders gets more out of their team members because they expect more of their people.  Confident Leaders actually believe that their people can do whatever they have been asked to accomplish. Multifaceted leaders respect and value each team member as individuals though the relationship they have built with them, and as a result, their people want to follow them. Encouragement for and recognition of the team reminds them all that you believe in their abilities. When you see the best in someone, they will want to rise to the expectations set of them - not out of obligation, but out of motivation and excitement.  Belief in the team influences the outcome.

3. Influence by building up each team member as an individual.

What I have learned is that people become motivated when you guide them to the source of their own power and when you make heroes out of employees who personify what you want to see in the organization. ~ Anita Roddick

As leaders, our ultimate goal is to help others develop as human beings. Developing means the qualities an individual achieves will benefit them in numerous areas of life, not just their current position or role within the team. Your assistance in this development of the personnel will influence how they perceive you.  Their growth will ultimately prepare them for future leadership positions within the team.

4. Influence by placing people within their strengths.

To add value to others, one must first value others. ~ John Maxwell

Discovering the right person for the right situation can be difficult; but taking the time to get the right people in the right places results in greater success. To do this you need to have a relationship with them to determine their strengths. Knowing what skills each individual has and utilizing them to the best of their abilities will allow the team to attain the desired results.  It also influences them when they see that you recognize their strengths and want to showcase their talents.

5. Influence by modeling the behavior your desire.

As a leader, it’s a major responsibility on your shoulders to practice the behavior you want others to follow. ~ Himanshu Bhati

What kind of team members do you want? Leaders show the team what to do by setting the example. If you desire a culture of excellence, model excellence; if you don't like what your team members are doing, first take a look at yourself and then take action.  By showing them how to behave instead of telling them you influence their behavior in the long term. 

6. Influence by conveying the Dream.

Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality. ~ Warren Bennis

While you may not be conveying your own dream, you are certainly the interpreter of the vision. Be sure that you are clear about the ultimate prize. In doing so, you'll create clarity for the team. When they buy into the shared vision based on your influence, their performance is enhanced in the perceived shared success.

7. Influence by rewarding the results.

People work for money but go the extra mile for recognition, praise and rewards. ~ Dale Carnegie

Giving praise for things you'd like to see again will guarantee that team members continue to strive for success. And remember, rewards may differ for each team member...you find out what motivates and inspires each member by being in relationship with them.  Words of praise, a small treat, a bit of time with you- these are examples of the rewards you can give as a leader to the individuals on the team.  These are not bribes for future good results; they are rewards for a job well done.  Ultimately this influences the personnel because they see that you recognize their efforts. 


Ultimately, leadership is not about glorious crowning acts. It’s about keeping your team focused on a goal and motivated to do their best to achieve it, especially when the stakes are high and the consequences really matter. It is about laying the groundwork for others’ success, and then standing back and letting them shine. ~ Chris Hadfield


Overall, these seven principles will help an All-Around Leader in leading those they directly supervise, influence the results and more importantly help develop them to personally grow into better human beings.  You really do have a lot of influence to inspire your personnel even if you do not realize it.

As we have seen through this three part series on How to Influence Others Regardless of your Position you have many opportunities to lead and influence those around you.  You can Lead Up with these ten ways to Influence Your Supervisors you have seven methods to Lead Across to Your Peers and you have another seven principles to Lead Down to your Team.  By now you should realize that leadership is not management, leadership is the ability to influence based on our relationship with others. 


If you would like a more in-depth help developing some techniques to become a more comprehensive leader and increase your influence please contact me.  Or you can sign up for my newsletter.  I would be happy to help you learn how to lead up, lead across and lead down.  You do have the power to influence those around you despite your position.

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