4 Influencing Skills Every Leader Needs

Leadership is the art of influencing and guiding people toward the attainment of a shared objective. Proficient influencing skills are crucial for a leader to encourage effectively, inspire, and motivate their team to attain their common objectives. A successful leader must possess an extensive repertoire of influential skills to navigate diverse team dynamics and adapt to changing circumstances. The main objective of this article is to analyze four critical skills that are imperative for a leader to possess to effectively lead by exerting influence.

1. Active Listening

A proficient leader exhibits a talent for attentively considering others, assimilating their viewpoints, and engaging in active listening to better understand employees’ thoughts, emotions, and concerns. This skill is vital for cultivating an efficient workplace atmosphere in which all individuals feel appreciated and acknowledged. Employee commitment and passion for their tasks heighten when they perceive that their opinions matter. Active listening encompasses various abilities, such as:

  • Paying attention: Observe the nonverbal cues, tone of voice, and choice of words of employees to understand their emotions and intentions;
  • Clarifying: Ask questions to clarify any uncertainties or ambiguities regarding the employee’s statements;
  • Summarizing: Summarize what employees have stated to ensure that their perspective is accurately understood.

Leaders who truly hear their team show care and build trust, making a comfortable space for everyone to openly talk, share ideas, and discuss concerns. This attentive engagement fosters open communication, enhances collaboration, and ultimately strengthens the overall effectiveness and cohesiveness of the team.

2. Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is being aware of, processing, and controlling one’s own feelings as well as those of others. Leaders with high EQ can motivate their teams, encourage teamwork, and mediate disputes with ease. A range of abilities falls under the umbrella of emotional intelligence, such as:

  • Self-awareness: Recognize the influence of employees’ emotions, strengths, and flaws;
  • Self-regulation: Positively manage emotions, thoughts, and behaviors for the benefit of the team and the business;
  • Empathy: Appreciate employees’ opinions and the necessity to establish rapport;
  • Social skills: Communicate effectively, inspire and influence employees, and resolve conflicts diplomatically.

Emotionally intelligent leaders make a work atmosphere where teams feel cared for, important, and inspired. By understanding and managing their own emotions, as well as recognizing and addressing the emotional needs of others, these leaders develop an atmosphere of transparency, mutual reliance, and psychological safety, ultimately contributing to increased team effectiveness and satisfaction.

3. Persuasion

It’s the power to get other people to see things your way. Leaders with strong persuasive abilities can invigorate and encourage their teams to excel. Persuasion includes skills like:

  • Establishing credibility: Build trust by showing knowledge, skills, and previous successes;
  • Understanding the audience: Comprehend the requirements, interests, and apprehensions of employees to develop a compelling message;
  • Using storytelling: Employ storytelling as a tool to depict the message and establish an emotional connection with employees;
  • Providing evidence: Present substantiated information to back up your claims and convince workers of their idea’s validity.

Leaders with influencing skills of persuasion can guide their team’s choices, motivate them to act, and reach goals. By using convincing communication, empathy, and shared values, they encourage their teams to unite for a shared vision and feel dedicated to the organization’s targets.

4. Negotiation

Leaders who possess strong negotiation skills can effectively manage conflicts, overcome adversity, and establish enduring relationships by resolving differences calmly through discussion and compromise. Skills essential to successful negotiation include:

  • Preparing: Gain an understanding of your goals, the requirements and desires of the workers, and the possible challenges that they might encounter;
  • Active listening: Actively listen to employees’ perspectives and find common ground;
  • Communication: Convey information lucidly, respectfully, and diplomatically to reach an agreement; 
  • Problem-solving: Find the main problems, suggest fixes, and work with the team to reach a helpful solution for everyone.

Leaders with good negotiation skills can solve conflicts well, forge enduring connections and generate successful outcomes for their team and organization. By understanding various viewpoints, finding shared goals, and reaching agreeable results, they support a team-focused environment that boosts work, productivity, and overall workplace harmony.


A leader’s influencing skills are paramount for effectively steering a team. Mastering active listening, emotional intelligence, persuasion, and negotiation is indispensable. Through active listening, leaders grasp employees’ perspectives and nurture a safe, productive work environment. Emotional intelligence encourages positivity, collaboration, and tactful conflict resolution. Persuasion inspires and drives individuals towards achieving their aspirations, while negotiation ensures efficient conflict resolution, robust relationship-building, and mutually advantageous outcomes.

Armed with these influential skills, leaders adeptly guide their teams, fulfill objectives, and make a positive impact on the organization.