Adopt these 9 simple habits to become more influential

Adopt these 9 simple habits to become more influential

Building careers in fast changing times needs resilience, a commitment to continual learning, and also a big desire to keep evolving as a colleague, industry associate, and business person.

A critical element to modern day success in business is working on building our ‘footprint of influence’ – that hard-to-describe ability to be perceived as someone who is able to help and assist; someone with substance and genuine credential.

But how do we build influence?

Here’s the good news. It is not difficult to do. It is about making yourself available, and making yourself user-friendly. It’s about working on human connections and relationships, generosity of spirit and time, and putting other people first.

The most influential people I know in business – and I know some pretty damned powerful movers and shakers – all have these common characteristics. When I think about how I have managed to build influence in my career, it comes back to the same behaviours.

And these characteristics for success in building influence are not surprising, because they are the key attributes that Dale Carnegie recommends consistently through his powerful and world famous book, “How To Win Friends and Influence People”. Terrible title. Great book. Should have been called “How To Get On With People And Get On In Life”. Here are the habits of highly influential people. How do you rate against each?

  1. Don’t criticise, condemn, or complain
  2. Give honest and sincere appreciation
  3. Arouse in the other person an eager want
  4. Become genuinely interested in other people
  5. Smile
  6. Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language
  7. Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves
  8. Talk in terms of the other person’s interests
  9. Make the other person feel important – and do it sincerely

It’s about slowing down, giving other people really quality, no-holds-barred and no agenda time, it’s about listening, getting ‘present’ in conversations, asking questions, making suggestions. At its very core, building influence is about giving other people your time and attention.

Do that well, and consistently, and you will find more and more people will ask for your time, for your counsel, your guidance. And when that happens, guess what? You have influence. Give it a go. It works.

More reading: 

How you can stay relevant during times of massive change
How to build a ‘village of support’ for your personal brand
5 golden rules for a longer and more vibrant career


Award-winning Australian recruitment agency, Firebrand Talent, ignites the careers of digital, marketing, creative, communications, advertising, & media talent. If you are looking for your next career move, check out the jobs we currently have on in Sydney & Melbourne.

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