How to be influential and gain respect at work

How to be influential and gain respect at work

Leaders must influence others in order to achieve goals, and they must gain the respect of followers in order to influence them. This is no easy task, but if you want to have the respect of your followers and become an influential leader, these simple rules will help you whether you are just beginning your leadership journey or have been leading for many years.

1. Find your style and inspire

One of the most important things you can do as an influential leader is cultivate self-awareness. Knowing your leadership style will help you to be more intentional about using it well and managing its shortcomings. Do you lead with expertise? Charisma? Caring? Armed with this awareness, you can leverage your unique style to become more influential and inspire others.

2. Demonstrate integrity

Nothing can ruin your influence and respect faster than a lack of integrity. Integrity, however, is not just avoiding unethical choices and situations. Integrity is intentionally molding a culture of values and service.

3. Finish your homework

As a leader, the more you know about what you are getting into, the more prepared you are to address it well. This could be hard data like market research, competitive analysis, and customer satisfaction trends, or informal research that comes from asking around. Leaders get informed and stay informed.

4. Invest in yourself

Leaders invest in learning. Grow your expertise. Get certified. Cross train. The more you know, the more you can help. The greater your competence, the more others will respect you and the effort you made to learn about what they do.

5. Manage your brand

Leaders understand the importance of perception. Ensure that your strengths are not being perceived negatively by asking for feedback, engaging in 360 assessments, and communicating proactively what you intend to accomplish with a particular action or question.

6. Concentrate on the future

A leader’s job is to interact with the future on behalf of constituents. Spend time doing things that only you can do, delegating other important areas to competent team members. Establish a vision, and keep your gaze focused on the overall goal. Resist the temptation to spend too much time solving day to day problems if they are costing you progress toward your vision.

7. Understand people personally

Great leaders get to know their people. What are their hobbies? What are their kids’ names? Are there specific things they are good at? What motivates them? Demonstrate a genuine interest in people. Care about them. Create a culture where people feel supported personally, not just professionally. Embody the traits of a servant leader: empathize, understand, listen, and learn.

8. Position people professionally

By understanding their people, leaders are better equipped to help them be successful. Put them in places that will foster professional growth and help them achieve their career goals. When people succeed in their careers and enjoy the jobs they are doing, the organization benefits in turn.

9. Praise liberally

When people do a good job, make sure they know it. Some will want an email, others an announcement in a meeting, still others a monetary reward. Whatever the case, if it lies within your power, grant it. There is no such thing as too much sincere appreciation for a job well done.

10. Coach and advocate

Help people. Be a resource, a sounding board, a safe place to talk. If you want the people you lead to respect you, they need to know you are on their side. Advocate for them; help them get the promotion they’ve been hoping for. Leverage your influence on their behalf.

11. Forge partnerships

Self-aware leaders understand the folly of trying to be all things to all people. It is impossible to be an expert in everything. Instead, surround yourself with people who possess qualities you lack. If you lack detail orientation, bring in someone who is organized. If you forget to ask for input at meetings, ask someone who is more naturally inclusive to bring it up.

12. Ask before telling

Leaders listen. Don’t assume you know the answer to a question you haven’t asked. Inform your perspective with the input of others. Invite skepticism. Only after this vetting process can you be certain you have made the right assignments or decision.

13. Anticipate and optimize

Always think ahead. Ask yourself: “What could go wrong here?” “What if the market changes?” “Is there anything else we can do to make success more likely?” These questions help leaders create the best possible plan. Once executed, be sure to revisit, using the feedback you gain to optimize and tweak where necessary.

14. Take risks to be an influential leader

Without risk, no reward exists. Leaders take risks, but before they do, they minimize them by soliciting information and perspectives. After that, they move forward courageously, trusting themselves and their people.

15. Expect greatness

Never settle. Leaders persist toward perfection. They remain steadfast in the belief that our best days are ahead of us, and work toward making that true. Paint the picture of what it will look like when we get there.

As you can see, there are several ways to become a more influential leader and gain respect, both in the workplace and outside of it. A Better Leader has decades of experience helping organizations build strong leaders who connect with their team members and therefore improve employee engagement and retention. We’ve helped so many companies implement successful leadership training and positively impact their bottom line.

Just ask Kelly Smith, AutoZone Training & Development Advisor, who says “We have subscribed to the materials for more than 5 years. We love it. It is easy to use. The staff is great (friendly, patient, knowledgeable, open to feedback). In our culture of thrift, it is very affordable. THANK YOU for all that you do. You are awesome…a hidden gem. But word is getting out!” If you have struggled to consistently connect your leaders and team members, or you simply need a solution to build influential leaders who are confident and have the skills to motivate and support employees – look no further. We’d love to help!

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How to be influential and gain respect at work

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Managers Need to Act in 10 Ways That Engender Trust

How to be influential and gain respect at work

Overall Thoughts About Trust at Work

You can’t always control the level of trust in your organization as a whole, but you can act in ways that promote trust in your immediate work environment. This environment may include your department, your work team or unit, or your coworkers in cubicle land.

Building trust in a smaller unit where you have some control helps to propagate trust in the larger organization. Managers who trust each other’s coworkers tend to extend their trust to the larger organization as well. This, in turn, evokes trust in others.

Destroying then rebuilding trust allows you to look at what doesn’t work to create a trusting work environment, but don’t go there. Instead, start building trust from the beginning of your relationship with each new employee. Make sure that your culture as they learn to integrate into your organization during onboarding gives them an early sense that yours is a workplace they can trust.

10 Ways to Build Trust at Work

Use these tips to help you build an environment that fosters trust at work and among your employees.

Hire proper managers.

Hire and promote people to management positions if they’re capable of forming positive, trusting interpersonal relationships with those who report to them. The manager’s relationship with reporting employees is the fundamental building block of trust.

Build employee skills.

Develop the skills of all employees—especially those of current supervisors, managers, and people desiring promotion—in effective interpersonal relationship building.

Keep staff members informed.

Provide as much information as you can comfortably divulge as soon as possible in any situation. Even telling employees that you don’t know or that you will find out if more information is available will add to an environment of trust.

Act with integrity and keep commitments.

If you can’t act with integrity to keep a commitment, explain what’s happening in the situation without delay. Observed behavior or actions are perceived by employees as the basis for predicting future behavior. Supervisors or managers who act as if they’re worthy of trust tend to inspire more cooperation with fewer complaints.

Confront hard issues in a timely fashion.

If an employee is frequently absent or spends work time wandering around, it’s important to confront him or her about these issues. Other employees will be watching and learning to trust you more. If you let the matter fester without addressing it, employees will lose respect for you—respect is foundational in trust.

Protect the interests of all employees.

Don’t talk about absent employees or allow others to place blame, call names, or point fingers. Employees learn to trust when they know that their manager does not allow an environment in which other employees can gossip about them.

Adopt an open-door policy.

Every manager’s door is open to every employee when such a policy is in place. It helps to courage open communication, feedback, and discussion about any matter of importance to an employee.

Display competence in supervisory and other work tasks.

Know what you’re talking about, and if you don’t know, admit it. Nothing builds trust more effectively than managers owning up to not knowing something and pledging to find out so that everyone is informed. The worst reaction occurs when a manager pretends to know and offers faulty information. Employees can forgive a lack of knowledge but may never forgive a lie.

Listen with respect and full attention.

Exhibit empathy and sensitivity to the needs of staff members. Trust grows out of the belief that you can understand and relate. This trust is encouraged by powerfully positive listening behaviors.

Take thoughtful risks to improve services and products for the customer.

When you take risks, you show employees that they may do the same—especially if there are no consequences when a thoughtfully considered risk goes awry. When risk-taking isn’t penalized, trust is cemented.

To Build Trust, You Need to Keep Your Expectations High

If you’re a manager, supervisor or team member, act as if you believe staff members are capable of living up to your high standards. This support encourages your employees’ best efforts and builds their trust.

If you’re a human resources professional or line manager, you have the special role of coaching managers and supervisors in how to build trust at work. You affect the balance of power within the organization by developing and publishing supportive, protective policies. You’re also influential in establishing appropriate social norms among people who are doing different jobs in your organization.

Fully commit to team-building activities when the larger organization is invested in creating a trusting, empowering work environment. Engaging in these activities outside the context of a team-focused culture may be counterproductive, eroding trust, and negatively impacting everything you want to accomplish with your employees.

The Basis of Trust

As a corporate psychologist and author Marsha Sinetar wrote, “Trust is not a matter of technique, but of character; we are trusted because of our way of being, not because of our polished exteriors or our expertly crafted communications.”

The Bottom Line

You build and maintain trusting relationships and a culture of trust in your workplace one step at a time through every action you take and every interaction you have with your coworkers and employees. Trust may be fragile, but it has the capacity to grow strong over time.

How to be influential and gain respect at work

There’s a difference between a boss and a leader. A boss gives demands and orders, while a leader influences their team to complete tasks.

One of the most important factors in successful leadership is the ability to influence others.

When you can gain the respect and influence of your team, then your chances for success are higher.

Here are five ways to gain the loyalty of your team and influence them to work for you and with you.

1. Discipline in Private, Reward in Public

Imagine two dog owners. One is patient, praising his dog every time he rolls over or fetches a ball. The other is impatient and gets easily annoyed. This owner yells every time there is an accident and never praises.

One arrives home and is greeted jubilantly by a loyal companion. The other comes home to a dog cowering in the corner, or is reckless and non-responsive. Any moment can lead to an attack or even to the dog running away.

Recognizing when your team is improving and succeeding is very important and will garner positive results. Recognize and reward in public.

Give an incentive and be accountable with the reward so they feel great for achieving it and will feel good when repeating the task.

When something doesn’t go according to plan, and a mistake is made, turn it into a learning experience and coach the person through it in private. Take it as a coaching moment and remind yourself that failure is necessary when mastering a skill.

2. Practice Active Listening

There’s a difference between hearing and listening. This doesn’t mean waiting for a break in conversation so you can say your thoughts.

Active listening is focusing on the conversation with no distractions while understanding and responding accordingly.

This is so important to building trust and relationships that counselors use this technique during their sessions.

It is a skill, which means it develops when practiced. And when mastered, it can impact a person’s view of you and can gain you a loyal follower.

When someone feels they can talk to you and trust you, they are more willing to complete a task when delegated.

3. Be a Human

Dale Carnegie once said, “When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but creatures of emotion.”

As humans, we are more than just pieces to a cog. We crave emotional connection. Building that connection with your team and empathizing with their needs will set you apart from the pack, with you at the front.

Go out of your way to say hello to everyone on your team. This is an easy way to show your team that you value them and helps make them feel comfortable, thus building your positive influence on them.

When leaving for the day, try going to everyone individually and say thank you for the work and to have a great evening. It could just make their day.

4. Practice What You Preach

If you are expecting your team to be at work on time, then you are expected to do the same. If you expect professionalism from your team, then you are expected to act the same.

You may be the boss, but that doesn’t mean you have leeway to break the rules. Lead by example and set the culture with your team by adhering to the rules that have been set.

The expectations are set high. And when the leader is tight on his on own expectations, then the staff will follow suit.

5. Keep Promises

This is crucial. When you set a promise for someone and give your word, keeping it is expected.

For example, if you tell somebody on your team that they can have a day off for their honeymoon.

This team member now has the expectation they are off, and will make plans accordingly.

Breaking a promise shatters the trust among your team. Be sure to apologize immediately and ensure the promise is met in the future.

Gaining Respect and Trust

When you are willing to carry your team and back them up (within reason), you will gain respect, trust, and everyone who follows you will feel heavily influenced by the work that you do.

How Can You Become an Influential Leader?

If you have ideas you feel like sharing that might be helpful to readers, share them in the comments section below. Thanks!

How to be influential and gain respect at work

Franchise Your Business

How to be influential and gain respect at work

We seek respect in our professional lives. Gaining the respect of others in the workplace is something many people want, but often have misguided ideas on how to achieve this goal.

The following tips will provide valuable insight into the process of gaining and keeping respect in the workplace.

1. Display self-confidence.

Show co-workers your passion for company goals and encourage others to do the same. Maintain your individual identity by not allowing the job to consume you. Your employer must realize that you choose to work for them. Do not let the fear of losing your job hinder your performance.

Have a backup plan in place if you are ever laid off. Always have options. This will give you the confidence and flexibility to be a visionary. Maintain a level of practically and adjust goals as needed.

2. Strive to complete each task and assignment on time.

This will demonstrate to both your supervisors and subordinates that you are a responsible person who keeps their word. This also helps others trust you and shows your have a high level of accountability. If you are given a deadline that is unreasonable, tactfully find a way to convey this information to the individual who set the deadline.

3. Show humility.

Be willing to admit your flaws, but do not focus on them. You should have some self-depreciation, but it should be paired with self-confidence. People generally will not respect a leader who appears insecure and continuously mentions their shortcomings.

Show your human side but maintain a sense of bravado and self-assurance.

4. Have patience with others.

Realize that co-workers each have their individual levels of learning and adapt to new tasks and job assignments accordingly. Praise others as they master each step of their new assignments. Having patience with others will demonstrate you have confidence in co-workers and believe they can expand their knowledge and skills. People are most likely to respect those who treat well and will not fear approaching them with problems or questions.

5. Respect co-workers even if you don’t like them.

Despite not always seeing eye-eye with co-workers, you still must show professional respect to everyone you encounter during the course of the workday. Things change rapidly in the corporate world. Someone who is your subordinate may someday become your supervisor. Or a co-worker may join another company and become one of your future clients.

6. Don’t repeat workplace gossip.

While it may be tempting to listen and repeat the latest office gossip, doing so will give the impression that you are not to be trusted with confidential information. It also gives the impression that you enjoy discussing the misfortunes of others. That is not a good way to earn respect.

7. Be inclusive.

Tell employees about changes in the organization and what impact it may have on all involved. Encourage employees to ask questions and stay informed about what is happening within the company. One simple way to accomplish is to publish an office newsletter.

8. Workers enjoy being praised.

This enhances their confidence in their skills. It may encourage them to work harder and learn new tasks and skills. If you must give criticism, combine it with praise for what the employee does well. If something does go wrong, do not publicly blame anyone else. If addressing a group, explain the problem and what steps are being taken to prevent future occurrences.

9. Share knowledge with co-workers.

This action demonstrates that you have confidence in their abilities to handle new situations and that you respect them enough to share this important information. As you seek knowledge, you must also learn the value of communal learning.

This will help you form a team mentality in the workplace and include others in your success. Respected people are seldom loners on the road to success. They include others along their journey and make it known that everyone has a role in the success of the company.

10. Be neat and organized.

An active workplace is indicative of a hard-working individual but a disorganized workplace leaves the impression that you have no regard for the image of the company. Your clothing should also reflect the idea that you value your professional image. Dress each day as if you are going to ask for a raise.

11. Always be professional, even at office parties.

The final word of advice to those who seek respect in the workplace is not to get drunk at company social functions. Although an event may be held off company premises, it is still a work-related event and it isn’t be professional to act rudely or say something inappropriate.

While your private life is your own business, you have to maintain your reputation at work by not over-indulging at social functions. If a co-worker gets intoxicated at an office party, be discrete and do not mention the incident in the following days.

How to be influential and gain respect at work

Your character plays a key role in becoming influential with others. Although charisma and good communication skills are important, they’re not enough to build lasting and impactful influence. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all strategy for achieving influence. However, you can greatly benefit from practicing the following seven habits.

1. Believe in yourself

This is the most important habit for becoming influential. Believing in yourself is the foundation for others to start believing in you. When you feel confident and project that confidence, people will naturally be drawn to you.

2. Treat people with respect

It’s true that actions speak louder than words. When you treat people with respect, you are showing a part of your character that is tremendously valuable for you and for others. Respect is one of the core values in life. People are more likely to trust you if you respect them.

3. Be genuine

Become an influential person for the right reasons. Be genuine in your words and actions–this will create opportunities for you to connect and engage with people positively. Make sure that what you say and what you do is aligned with who you are.

4. Show interest in others

There’s no room for self-centeredness or superficiality if your goal is to become influential. Ask people how they are doing and really mean it–listen to what they have to say. Exchange thoughts and ideas. People like to feel acknowledged.

5. Speak politely

Communicate with people in a way that they understand and feel included in the conversation. Forget about being rude, and avoid the know-it-all syndrome. Use words that build people up and create an impact on them.

Smiling is a way to make people feel welcome. Let your smile be sincere and appropriate. Pay attention to the people around you: Chances are, they need a smile to lift their mood. A smile is an accessory, like a tie or a necklace–it adds a great touch to your personality.

7. Be helpful

Identify opportunities to help others. Be proactive and attentive. There’s always someone in need of help. Of course, be tactical about how you approach people who may benefit from your assistance. Being helpful never goes out of style.

Practicing these seven habits will establish your credibility, and when your credibility is established, you’ll have huge opportunities to influence people. Remember that influence is primarily based on your character. The more positive character traits you exhibit, the more influential you will become. Once you have this structure in place, the rest will follow naturally.

Managers Need to Act in 10 Ways That Engender Trust

How to be influential and gain respect at work

Overall Thoughts About Trust at Work

You can’t always control the level of trust in your organization as a whole, but you can act in ways that promote trust in your immediate work environment. This environment may include your department, your work team or unit, or your coworkers in cubicle land.

Building trust in a smaller unit where you have some control helps to propagate trust in the larger organization. Managers who trust each other’s coworkers tend to extend their trust to the larger organization as well. This, in turn, evokes trust in others.

Destroying then rebuilding trust allows you to look at what doesn’t work to create a trusting work environment, but don’t go there. Instead, start building trust from the beginning of your relationship with each new employee. Make sure that your culture as they learn to integrate into your organization during onboarding gives them an early sense that yours is a workplace they can trust.

10 Ways to Build Trust at Work

Use these tips to help you build an environment that fosters trust at work and among your employees.

Hire proper managers.

Hire and promote people to management positions if they’re capable of forming positive, trusting interpersonal relationships with those who report to them. The manager’s relationship with reporting employees is the fundamental building block of trust.

Build employee skills.

Develop the skills of all employees—especially those of current supervisors, managers, and people desiring promotion—in effective interpersonal relationship building.

Keep staff members informed.

Provide as much information as you can comfortably divulge as soon as possible in any situation. Even telling employees that you don’t know or that you will find out if more information is available will add to an environment of trust.

Act with integrity and keep commitments.

If you can’t act with integrity to keep a commitment, explain what’s happening in the situation without delay. Observed behavior or actions are perceived by employees as the basis for predicting future behavior. Supervisors or managers who act as if they’re worthy of trust tend to inspire more cooperation with fewer complaints.

Confront hard issues in a timely fashion.

If an employee is frequently absent or spends work time wandering around, it’s important to confront him or her about these issues. Other employees will be watching and learning to trust you more. If you let the matter fester without addressing it, employees will lose respect for you—respect is foundational in trust.

Protect the interests of all employees.

Don’t talk about absent employees or allow others to place blame, call names, or point fingers. Employees learn to trust when they know that their manager does not allow an environment in which other employees can gossip about them.

Adopt an open-door policy.

Every manager’s door is open to every employee when such a policy is in place. It helps to courage open communication, feedback, and discussion about any matter of importance to an employee.

Display competence in supervisory and other work tasks.

Know what you’re talking about, and if you don’t know, admit it. Nothing builds trust more effectively than managers owning up to not knowing something and pledging to find out so that everyone is informed. The worst reaction occurs when a manager pretends to know and offers faulty information. Employees can forgive a lack of knowledge but may never forgive a lie.

Listen with respect and full attention.

Exhibit empathy and sensitivity to the needs of staff members. Trust grows out of the belief that you can understand and relate. This trust is encouraged by powerfully positive listening behaviors.

Take thoughtful risks to improve services and products for the customer.

When you take risks, you show employees that they may do the same—especially if there are no consequences when a thoughtfully considered risk goes awry. When risk-taking isn’t penalized, trust is cemented.

To Build Trust, You Need to Keep Your Expectations High

If you’re a manager, supervisor or team member, act as if you believe staff members are capable of living up to your high standards. This support encourages your employees’ best efforts and builds their trust.

If you’re a human resources professional or line manager, you have the special role of coaching managers and supervisors in how to build trust at work. You affect the balance of power within the organization by developing and publishing supportive, protective policies. You’re also influential in establishing appropriate social norms among people who are doing different jobs in your organization.

Fully commit to team-building activities when the larger organization is invested in creating a trusting, empowering work environment. Engaging in these activities outside the context of a team-focused culture may be counterproductive, eroding trust, and negatively impacting everything you want to accomplish with your employees.

The Basis of Trust

As a corporate psychologist and author Marsha Sinetar wrote, “Trust is not a matter of technique, but of character; we are trusted because of our way of being, not because of our polished exteriors or our expertly crafted communications.”

The Bottom Line

You build and maintain trusting relationships and a culture of trust in your workplace one step at a time through every action you take and every interaction you have with your coworkers and employees. Trust may be fragile, but it has the capacity to grow strong over time.

Someone I was coaching recently wrote in their development plan that one of their goals was to “earn the respect of more people at work.” I thought that was an interesting goal and asked her to tell me more about her comment. She said, “I just don’t feel like people respect me so I want to earn more respect.” When I asked her specifically what behaviors she thought she needed to exhibit in order to earn respect, there was a long pause and she gave me a blank stare.

You’d be surprised how many times I go through this same “respect” discussion. So here’s the deal…respect is something you have to earn – it’s not something handed out free on a silver platter. If you want to earn respect then you need to ask yourself this question, “How can I change my behavior to earn more respect from others?”

Here are some of my personal suggestions for earning respect:

  • Use active listening skills – really listen and hear what people are saying.
  • Treat others with dignity and courtesy at all times.
  • Keep all your commitments – and never make a commitment you can’t keep.
  • Be patient with people; realize that most people want to do what’s right.

    Sometimes I think we speed through life so quickly that we don’t take enough time to really hear other people. To do so takes the ability to be patient, generous with your time, and sincerely care about others. These are all behaviors that will lead to earning more respect from co-workers.

    Now it’s your turn. What do you believe are behaviors that help earn respect at work? Share your thoughts with other readers in the “Comments” section below.

    How to be influential and gain respect at work

    Esther Weinberg is a renowned business growth accelerator for executives in high-growth media and technology industries at The Ready Zone.

    How to be influential and gain respect at work

    Communication is easy to request and tough to deliver. Today we have the most pathways for communicating — face to face, email, phone, text, voicemail, videoconferencing, app platforms (such as Slack) and social media. Communication includes not only the words we use and our body language; it’s also the intention behind those words, the history I have with you and the mindset we each have behind those words at the time we say them.

    For an environment of trust, respect and safety to exist, leaders must master the skill of communicating honestly, empathetically and decisively. There are eight strategies you can use to create messages that are impactful, transparent and motivating.

    1. Get at the heart of the issue. It’s vital, especially during times of change, that people actually experience your passion, conviction and care. Your caring can touch something in others that inspires them to care as well. Show who you are in your communication through your sincerity and spirit so your message rings true and genuine communication can happen. The key is to communicate your perspective and point of view with passion and conviction while still tailoring your message to the audience you are speaking with and being unattached to the outcome — that’s the sweet spot.

    2. Ensure there’s one key takeaway. When I was working in publicity, my boss would always talk about how you need to have “one must-make point.” This is helpful any time you are communicating. Think about the one point you want the other party to take away, and then think about how you can deliver that message in simple terms that people will easily remember. The more you clutter up your messaging, the more challenging it will be for people to actually remember what you said. Make your message clear and memorable.

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    3. Listen from a position of curiosity. Imagine if you could peel back the layers of a conversation midstream and see what someone is thinking in that moment. You might be surprised. Often, we relate to a present conversation through the lens of our past experiences, judgments and biases. When you listen from a position of curiosity, you give yourself the opportunity to be truly open to listening in the present. This mindset leads you to ask curious questions that are open-ended and this, in turn, causes both parties to think and reflect and generates more understanding.

    4. Anchor yourself. There are times when, as a leader, you have to support a decision that was made by others above you and that you are not 100% in favor of. I’m not referring to decisions that would call for you to do something unethical or completely against your values; rather, you agree up to a point, or maybe you wish that the implementation was different. When you have the responsibility of promoting such a decision or message, seek out the aspects of that decision or message that you can connect with, that you can sincerely get on board with, and anchor yourself to those. Then, you can come before your team and move them in the direction that is expected of you from a genuine place.

    5. Build positive relationships with others. When you consistently invest in communicating with people as transparently as possible, they come to trust that you will communicate both the good and the bad. They’ll trust that you’ll be candid and honest and believe that when you can share, you will. Whereas if they consistently feel you’re holding back, they will tend to come to their own conclusions. When you’re regularly investing positively, people will know you to be reliable. Then, when something goes awry, people will say, “Maybe she messed up here. It was a blip. I know I can trust her.”

    6. Context is crucial. Every message needs a clear why in order to resonate. Simon Sinek made this famous with the “Golden Circle” from his renowned TED talk. The why is what moves people to action. The context, the why, is the glue that makes your message stick. It lands because it gets to the core of motivation. If I don’t communicate enough context, people are left wondering, “Why are we doing this?” They may feel that something is being left out or someone is not telling them the whole story.

    7. Be consistent. You want to convey a message that stays in people’s minds. To do that, you have to be consistent in your messaging. Since the start of the pandemic, one of my clients has sent out out a global communication via email or video every Monday. Employees have come to expect and depend on that message for updates, information, and even lightness and humor. When you are consistent, you facilitate people trusting and having confidence in you.

    8. Share the five W’s and even the H. Good old who, what, when, where, why and how are essential ingredients to great messages. People want to know how something new is going to affect them. “Why are we changing? What would happen if we did nothing? How will the shift impact how we function as an organization and as people inside the organization? When will the change be implemented?”

    Keep in mind that when you’re messaging to a group, you’re addressing people with many different communication styles. Some individuals don’t need a lot of facts and data to back something up. One data point will move them. There are other people who are far more analytical, and they need a lot of data to be persuaded. When you include the why, what, how, when, etc., it assists with messaging to a variety of different personalities and value systems.

    Remember that just because you are speaking words or putting them down in any form doesn’t mean you are actually communicating. Words facilitate a message, and especially during times of change, that message can be a powerful vehicle for sharing and instilling trust, respect and safety.

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