Mastering Four Influencing Skills

The ability to persuade and inspire people is one of the numerous critical talents required for leadership. Using this ability, leaders may build a vision, inspire their team, and accomplish their objectives. But mastering the art of persuasion is difficult and takes ongoing practice and improvement. This article discusses four influencing skills that leaders must have.

Examples of influencing skills :

1. Building Rapport

Rapport is described as a close, harmonious relationship in which individuals comprehend one another’s emotions and thoughts and communicate successfully. When a leader has created rapport with team members or coworkers, those individuals are more receptive to the leader’s proposals, ideas, and feedback. This consists of the following.

Active Listening

Giving someone your undivided attention while also asking follow-up questions to better understand their situation is an example of active listening. Leaders who listen to their employees demonstrate that they value their opinions. Some examples of such practices include:

  • Paraphrasing and summarizing: Restating information or providing a condensed version of it;
  • Asking open-ended questions: Asking open-ended questions generates more thorough answers;
  • Using reflective statements: Recognizing and responding to a person’s emotions and sentiments without judgment.


The capacity to comprehend and share the emotions of others is called empathy. Empathy involves putting oneself in another’s shoes and seeing things from their perspective.

Shared Experiences

This can be as simple as talking about hobbies or interests outside of work. When a leader shares experiences with their team members, they build a connection based on common interests and values. Examples of shared experiences that include team-building activities are:

  • Retreats or group outings: Taking a break from regular work activities to engage in team-building or relaxation activities as a group;
  • Coffee breaks or happy hours: Informal breaks where colleagues can socialize and bond over a cup of coffee or drinks outside of work hours.

2. Creating a Compelling Vision

A leader with a clear and compelling vision inspires and motivates their team members to work towards a shared goal.


By having a firm grasp on the team’s goals and objectives, communication can proceed more smoothly. Lack of clarity and decisiveness from a leader can cause doubt and uncertainty among followers hurting the team’s effectiveness. To achieve clarity in your vision, you can utilize visual aids, such as:

  • Infographics or diagrams: Visual aids to present complex information in a simplified and easily understandable format;
  • Storytelling techniques: Using narratives to convey information and connect with an audience on an emotional level.


Good communication entails not just expressing the goal to the team but also incorporating their suggestions and opinions. This develops a shared vision among team members, which can be facilitated by tools such as those described below:

  • Asana: Project management tool designed to help teams track and manage tasks and projects efficiently;
  • Trello: Web-based project management tool that allows teams to organize and prioritize tasks and projects using boards, lists, and cards;
  • Zoom: Video conferencing software that enables remote communication and collaboration through audio and video calls, screen sharing, and chat.


One of the influencing skills a leader should have is ensuring that the vision aligns with the values and objectives of the team members. A leader who imposes his or her vision without addressing the needs and goals of team members might generate resistance and conflict. To promote alignment, it’s important to have feedback and evaluation systems in place, such as:

  • 360-degree feedback: Performance appraisal method that involves gathering input from an employee’s colleagues, managers, and direct reports to provide a comprehensive view of their skills and abilities;
  • Personality assessments: Tools used to evaluate an individual’s personality traits and characteristics, often used in the context of employment or personal development.

3. Building trust

Building trust is critical in influencing others. Trust is the foundation of any healthy relationship, and without it, a leader’s influence will be limited.


Transparency on the part of a leader is highly valued by followers because it inspires trust in the leader’s abilities and the reliability of their plans and decisions. Having trustworthy members on a team is essential, and this ritual serves to foster that.


A leader who admits fault shows they are open to improvement and growth from their experiences. To create a culture of personal responsibility in their teams, leaders must take responsibility for their actions. Performance management tools that encourage accountability include:

  • OKRs: Goal-setting framework that helps organizations and individuals define objectives and track progress;
  • SMART goals: Helps individuals and organizations set clear and actionable goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.


Leaders that have consistency among their influencing skills give their teams predictability and stability. This helps the team members feel more comfortable and secure. Promoting consistency includes workflow and process management tools, such as:

  • Six Sigma: Methodology used to improve business processes and quality control by identifying and eliminating defects or errors;
  • Lean management: Approach to business that emphasizes continuous improvement, waste reduction, and value creation by focusing on customer needs and eliminating non-value-added activities.

4. Using persuasion

Using persuasion is a powerful tool for influencing others. Persuasion involves convincing others to take a specific action or adopt a particular belief.

Understanding Motivations

Possessing this information facilitates a more focused strategy for persuasion. A leader might leverage an employee’s preference for a certain method of persuasion to get the job done. The leader might encourage the team member to take action by emphasizing the praise they will receive as a result of their efforts. Examples of surveys and feedback tools that can support this approach include:

  • Net Promoter Score: Customer loyalty metric that measures the likelihood of customers to recommend a company, product, or service to others;
  • Customer satisfaction surveys: Tools used to collect client feedback on a company’s products or services to improve and build loyalty.

Presenting Evidence

It is expected of a leader to back up their claims with statistics, data, and other hard evidence. This helps them gain the respect and credibility of their coworkers. Data visualization techniques such as these can be used to present evidence effectively:

  • Tableau: Data visualization software that enables users to create interactive and visually appealing charts, graphs, and dashboards from various data sources;
  • Excel: Spreadsheet software that calculates, analyzes, and plots data;
  • Powerpoint: Presentation software that enables users to create visual and engaging presentations using text, images, and multimedia elements.

Framing the Message

A leader’s message must be framed in a way that is understood. Emotional appeals, narratives, and a focus on the advantages of action are all viable options here. Examples of tools that can assist with message framing are:

  • Mission statements: Concise statements that describe an organization’s purpose, goals, and values, and provide direction for decision-making and strategy development;
  • Elevator pitches: Short and convincing presentations that deliver the essence of a product, service, or idea in a way that attracts the audience’s attention and motivates action.


Being able to persuade others is an essential quality in a leader. Influencing others successfully requires developing relationships, articulating a compelling vision, earning trust, and employing persuasive techniques. Leaders that can build confidence and excitement in their people to achieve their aims and visions succeed. Influencing people, however, is not about forcing your will on them. Relationship development requires getting to know others, discovering their motivations, and working together to achieve a goal. Leaders that have influencing skills and adopt this strategy for persuading their followers are able to foster an environment where everyone feels safe sharing ideas and working together to achieve great things.