3 Ways to Develop Leadership Influencing Skills

Contrary to popular belief, leadership is not about the role we hold in an organization. Rather, it is about the actions we choose to take day in and day out. Those actions correlate to our ability to influence others, which is at the core of all leadership skills. At Transcend, we define leadership as having the ability to inspire and motivate yourself and others to take positive action towards a goal. Why is it important to develop leadership influencing skills?

Leadership is action, not position.
– Donald H. McGannon

To influence is to have an impact on the behaviors, attitudes, opinions and choices of others. Influence is not to be confused with power or control. It’s not about manipulating others to get your way. It is how a leader inspires and motivates.


You can truly only control yourself (your attitude, your emotions, and your behaviors). Therefore, you must have the ability to influence others in order to get them to act. Developing your influencing skills, will increase your ability to get results from your team and your organization.

“Influence is not about manipulating others to get your way.”

The way in which we interact with other people has a direct impact on our influence on them. At no time do we have control over the outcome or response of others. However, we can increase our influence by approaching each situation we come across from a more positive perspective. We can encourage others to have a more positive mindset toward the work to be done. Your influence is greater when you are able to give people a sense of direction, a feeling of purpose and connection, and optimism about the eventual outcome.

As you develop leadership influencing skills and get better at influencing others, you increase you own effectiveness and impact. As a  result, you are able to grow your circle of influence.

  • You Control: Your thoughts, your feelings, your actions.
  • Your Circle of Influence: People and situations close to you, where you may sway others or influence outcomes.
  • Your Circle of Concern: The range of things that you are interested in, that have an impact on your life. Includes both things you do not control as well as things you may not even influence (like the weather).



    1. Understand your impact on others: Notice how other people feel when you are around (i.e.; people’s body language when you walk in the room, when you are in meetings with them, etc.)
    2. Be curious: Ask open-ended questions, seek to learn, and seek to understand others’ perspectives.
    3. Create a positive emotional experience: Imagine how you need people to feel and what you need to do to encourage them to feel that.


Influencing skills grow with practice and conscious awareness of your results and impact on others. Use these suggestions to develop your leadership influencing skills. Be a leader who inspires and motivates!

What are 3 actions you can take to build your influence in the coming week?

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