How To Increase Your Influence At Work To Win

How To Increase Your Influence At Work 2How To Increase Your Influence At Work

When we hone our ability to gain the support of others, we get more done at work. Bosses, subordinates, peers, colleagues, partners, often control the resources we need; information, expertise, money, staff, political cover. Clear with, how to increase your influence at work and become a top performer hinges on advocacy, teamwork, collaboration. Our awareness of others’ concerns coupled with our ability to convince enables us to have lasting impact.

Again, top performers advocate for their goals by going beyond rational arguments, to evoke others’ emotions. In addition, they deploy smart grit, to circumvent resistance. Shedding more light upon, Professor Angela Duckworth demonstrated that grit, perseverance, and passion for long-term goals distinguishes successful people from others.1

How To Increase Your Influence At Work And Become A Top Performer Headlines

1. Make Them Upset About The Present And Excited About The Future

We can inspire others by fostering both negative and positive emotions. Fleshing this out in advocating for a new proposal, you can render your bosses fearful of the current state that reveals that the company is falling behind the competition, and joyful about the future prospect of keeping existing customers and adding revenues from new online customers. These emotions can line up in your favour and draw support for your proposal.

Go For High Arousal Emotions

Astride on, professor Jonah Berger stresses the importance of high arousal emotions. “These emotions prompt a state of activation and readiness for action. The heart beats faster and blood pressure rises.”2 As are anxiety and anger, excitement and joy spotlight as high arousal emotions. Sadness and contentment are not. We often act on high arousal emotions.3 So, it pays to make others mad, not sad. When you line up high arousal emotions on your side, when you make others mad and fearful about the present, and joyful and excited about your proposed future goal, you inspire them and gain their support. Fear, anger, frustration, resentment, disgust, anxiety, all feature as negative arousal emotions, to spark about an unwanted status quo.

As well, positive arousal emotions to evoke about a desirable future state or your goal, headline as joy, excitement, passion, thrill, ecstasy, delight. Striking a balance between the differing emotions helps you to advance the cause of your goal or proposal. Advocating for a proposal that sparks fury about a future state, and nostalgia about the status quo, will not number you among top performers.

2. Show Them Pictures That Hits Them In The Gut

We can accomplish this by using photos, videos, artifacts, and demonstrations to dramatise our arguments and stir up emotions. Reciting brutal facts and making rational arguments often ratchets up skepticism. So, to advance our goals or proposals, it is wise to show, not tell.

Illustrating further, in 2009, celebrity chef Jamie Oliver towed this line, to convince residents of Huntington, West Virginia, to eat healthy. He directed a giant truck into a parking lot, the venue of a meeting of parents and kids. The truck dumped a massive load of pure animal fat into a huge dumpster before them. Microphone in hand, Oliver yelled, “this is the fat consumed by the entire school for one year.” He jumped on top of the mound of disgusting fat, grabbed a chunk and held it up. “Come feel it,” he cried, eyes lighting from one child to the another.

“Nooo!” screamed the kids in return.

Gazing at the aghast parents, Oliver lifted a hunk of ugly fat into the air. “Are you fine with this?”

“Nooo.” shouted the parents.

Oliver’s eyes roved about the crowd. “You need to know I’m on your side. Parents will you support me?”

“Yes,” howled the parents. 4

3. Connect Work To A Deeper Purpose, To Jolt Them Away From Their Phones

When you present your proposal in a way that connects work to a deeper purpose, you energise others and pique their interest. We can use purpose to inspire others to commit to our goals and projects. For instance, if you are working in a company with a purpose to save lives, you can employ not only dense numbers and facts, but also pictures or videos, to link your proposal to an overreaching or deeper purpose. How the work that you are proposing, contributes to the purpose of saving lives, is good to explore here. To make others feel the purpose, motivates them to try harder to help you achieve your goals.5 Shining the light of purpose helps you contract ideas of how to increase your influence at work.

4. Apply Smart Grit, To Not Frighten Others Away

To apply smart grit means taking into account the perspectives and concerns of others, not bulldozing through successive walls of resistance, as you persevere to neutralise opposition. Pursuing your goals in a rigid manner alienates others. Taking into account the point of view of others, helps you to devise tactics that will win them over.

5. Put Your Legs In Your Opponent’s Shoes

The first step in overcoming opposition is to understand why your opponents are threatening your ideas or proposals. When you see the situation from their point of view, you gain some insight about what their opposition is based on. The capacity to understand another’s perspective or mental state, to put yourself in his place, helps you to advance your agenda effectively.6

In view of this, keeping down your obsession with your own concerns and objectives, is good to practice when you are trying to sell your ideas. Instead of pummelling them with more facts and arguments to make them get it, elect to see things from their perspective. Taking the time to see the issue from others’ point of view, helps you to figure out what their considerations are. Then, you can take steps to surmount them. With this, you keep with notions at the core of how to increase your influence at work.

6. Make Concessions To Empathise And Show Understanding For Others’ Anxiety

To appease opposing members, to make concessions, shows that you understand their anxiety over the issue at hand, and helps you to move your venture forward. It is constructive to find a middle ground, to give in a little bit, to silence the naysayers, whenever you can.

7. Sheath Your Sword And Make Others Part Of Your Team

It is constructive to keep down the tendency to pull out our swords and charge into battle when confronted by opponents. For good with, making others part of our project, serves our own interest better. To accomplish this, understand their constraints, and avoid making unnecessary demands. On the same idea, President Lyndon B. Johnson quipped about an opponent. “It’s probably better to have him inside the tent pissing out, than outside pissing in.”7

8. Kick The Tendency To Be A Lone Crusader

Enlist the help of others to keep from being a lone crusader for your efforts. You perform better when you mobilise others to help you advocate or plead for your venture. Doing otherwise, going at it alone, doing all the convincing by yourself, exhausts you.


How to increase your influence at work turns on ideas that help you to inspire others to become advocates of your cause or goals. By deploying smart grit, seeing issues from the others’ perspective, creating vivid images of consequences and expected desirable outcomes, and linking work to a deep purpose, we render work more engaging for everyone. The workplace becomes a more enjoyable setting as adversaries turn to friends.


1. Angela L. Duckworth and Christopher Peterson, “Grit: Perseverance and Passion for Lon-Term Goals,”Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 92, no. 6 (2007): 1087–1101.

2. Jonah Berger, Contagious: Why Things Catch On (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2016). Jonah Berger, Contagious: Why Things Catch On (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2016).

3. Jonah A. Berger and Katherine L. Milkman, “What Makes Online Content Viral?” Journal of Marketing Research 49, no. 2 (2012): 192–205.

4. A November 2008 article by Mike Stobbe named Huntington the “fattest” and “unhealthiest” city in America. Mike Stobbe, “Appalachian Town Shrugs at Poorest Health Ranking,” Herald-Dispatch, November 16, 2008, accessed February 24, 2017, This statement was based on 2006 data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

5. Adam M. Grant, Elizabeth M. Campbell, Grace Chen, Keenan Cottone, David Lapedis, and Karen Lee, “Impact and the Art of Motivation Maintenance: The Effects of Contact with Beneficiaries on Persistence Behavior,” Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes 103 (2007): 53–67.

6. Jeffrey Pfeffer, Power: Why Some People Have It and Others Don’t (New York: HarperCollins, 2010), 53.

7. It is unclear whether President Johnson really said this or whether the journalist David Halberstam quoted or paraphrased him. It was in reference to Johnson resigning himself to the difficulty of firing J. Edgar Hoover as FBI director. David Halberstam, “The Vantage Point; Perspectives of the Presidency 1963–1969. By Lyndon Baines Johnson. Illustrated. 636 pp. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston. $15,” New York Times, October 31, 1971.


  • Interesting article. Negative motivation is a time-tested strategy adopted by many bosses, and it does work. However, in tough times like these, it is empathy and sense of well-being that can hold a team together and excel. This is my view.

  • Well, these are certainly some blunt and brutal ways to get things done.. I had no idea Jamie Oliver did that thing with animal fat, that sounds disgusting 🙈 but that’s definitely one way to get a message across!

  • These are all great tips and I am sure many will find them useful. I work for myself so it’s a little different for me but when the opportunity arrises I give out information to make clients excited about my future projects.

  • 6. Make Concessions To Empathise And Show Understanding For Others’ Anxiety
    To appease opposing members, to make concessions, shows that you understand their anxiety over the issue at hand, and helps you to move your venture forward. It is constructive to find a middle ground, to give in a little bit, to silence the naysayers, whenever you can.

    This was my favorite part^^^^^^ By far. I am an anxiety warrior and it means a lot to know people recognize anxiety.

  • Great list! I especially agree with #2… it’s showing proof that this is the case if we don’t step up our game plan. That will surely get people’s attention at work.

  • I love that you discuss the importance of drawing on their emotions. That’s the key to really getting someone on board. Logic doesn’t drive major decisions at the end of the day, no matter what we would like to claim. Our emotions are the driving force behind everything we do. The sooner that we can recognize this, the sooner we can use it to our advantage!

  • Great article! I think this not only applies in a workplace but also in any organization. I can totally relate with #8 as I have the tendency to be a lone crusader but this reminded me that I will only be left exhausted if I try to do everything on my own!

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