Influential leadership is well-rounded and transformational. How do you become a more effective positive influence leader? Many people talk about culture, employee engagement, and how it creates customer engagement. They often do not talk about positive influence. What can you do to be an influential leader?
In my Fast Leader Show podcast episode featuring Glenn Parker titled Positive Influence: How to Become a Leader That Inspires Others In Customer Experience, we discuss how one can become a well-rounded, positive influence leader.
I was so appreciative of the experience and wisdom Glenn shared that I plan to include several elements into the Call Center Coach Leadership Academy, in addition to sharing it with you.
Influencing and Managing Change
In most cases, it is easier to talk about it than it is to do it. The author of ‘The Change Masters‘ Rosabeth Moss, Kanter once said, “Everything looks like a failure in the middle. In every change project, doubt is cast on the original vision because problems are mounting and the end is nowhere in sight.”
For me, that kind of sums up 2020. It was one big change effort, and it seems to have had no end in sight.
In the journey of becoming a positive influence leader, there will be many obstacles you will face. It is important to remain determined for the sake of everyone who stands to benefit from your positive influence.
Characteristics of Positive Influential Leadership
What are the characteristics of influential leaders? Positive influential leadership encompasses positioning people for success. It means you have to see the potential in people they can not see in themselves and harness it. As a positive influential leader, you have to evaluate performance to improve performance.
This includes our own.
I can’t say that I am always doing so, but I have come to realize that true leadership applies influence rather than dictation to inspire a team to achieve more. I’ve experienced much better results as I have worked to master communication and then to help create an environment tailored to individuals that helps them to find their motivation.
Positive influential leaders are humbly confident. This means you must humbly accept that your perspectives can always be broadened by others and embrace this. No matter how senior I think I am, there will always be people who can teach me new things. I have found that people are more understanding and patient and feel more connected with me as a leader when I am able to find that balance between humility and confidence.
You must actively engage with your team openly and honestly, share a clear roadmap of where your leadership is taking the team, and practice then practice what you preach. Therefore, strong communication skills are going to be critical for influential leadership.
The Difference Between Influential Leadership and Other Types of Leadership
With other leadership types to play that specific role, you must be formally assigned to the role. When it comes to being a positive influence leader, anyone can play that role. The first positive influence in many people’s lives is a parent.
When you have parents that are a positive influence in your life, you have a good start. Later on, in life, you discovered people such as teachers, pastors, community leaders who do not see themselves as formal coaches or mentors but are inspirational and motivational.
Positive influence can come in different forms. For me, it is has being more important to be intentional and seek out those relationships to have a consistent positive influence.
I have managed to do this through my Fast Leader Show podcast and B2B Digital Marketing Podcast where I not only produce content for my podcasts and my blogs but foster meaningful relationships with my guests creating an environment where both my team and I can learn.
Why It Is Important To Have A Positive Influence
A positive influence can be useful when you are going through difficult times to provide ‘sanity checks.’ Positive influence ensures that you do not go through tough times alone. It helps you and your team members to work together and share ideas.
Positive influence builds an optimistic, affirmative, and constructive participation and experience a person has in their work, family, and community. This results in a happy person! According to Harvard Business Review, 80% of work accidents occur due to stress from a negative work culture.
Positive influence is important in customer experience because happy agents perform at a higher level, are more productive, sell more, find solutions more readily, get along better with others, live longer, reconcile conflict more quickly, come up with great ideas, ere less stressed, give their best, and happy people generate happiness in others.
The 4 Types of Positive Influential Leadership Styles
When you are a supportive, positive influence leader, you encourage others to do something they didn’t believe they could do. You give moral support as well. To be an influential leader, you need to know and understand the different types of positive influential leadership styles.
A teacher positive influence leader is a person that teaches you what you need to know to be successful. It may be in the form of skills and experience, knowledge, and information you need to do your job. They also teach the right way to do things, such as ethical standards within the organization.
Motivating positive influence leaders are leaders that help you find your true North. They help you discover who you should be, your purpose in life, and what you should be doing. Motivating positive influence leaders inspire you on your journey to achieve your goals.
A role model positive influence leader is a leader that helps teams determine the right way they should do things in an organization. They lead by example. A role model, a positive influence leader, has work ethics that others can emulate.
You can be one or a combination of all the different types of positive influence leaders. The transformational leader is the one that can encompass all four, utilizes all four, and be situational about it. You have to know when to apply each type of positive influence leader. Ken Blanchard, the author of Leadership and The One Minute Manager, states that effective leaders are situational.
How to Apply Positive Influential Leadership Accordingly
To know when to apply which type of leadership and when, you first have to take a self-assessment to determine which one is your style preference and the qualities you already embody. Determine which other leadership styles you need to be well-rounded and then work towards being a transformational leader.
After self-assessment, allow peers and members of your team to assess you as well. You can use this as inspiration to improve your leadership and the organization’s effectiveness by creating more and better leaders.
People work in different working environments. Some work virtually, while some have to report to an office. Different environments require different applications of positive influence leadership. This means there is a need for effective leadership development.
You need to ask the question, ‘how are we going to get there?’ There are several platforms you can use to develop leaders virtually, especially during a pandemic. You can learn how to develop through using technology like Zoom, Webex, and Microsoft Teams.
Go through learning material together as a team using different communication platforms. Learn and reflect more on how to be more effective leaders.
There is a lot of negativity that impacts people. No matter what you do, it is impossible to get rid of negative influences. Negative influence can come from anywhere. It can come from your parents or your boss. You can not even escape them in some situations, but you can observe and learn from those situations.
Some coping mechanisms to deal with negativity include speaking out, engaging relevant stakeholders, listening to opinions, and seeking advice. You will feel like giving up times, but the successful people are persistent, and they don’t give up. These are the main qualities that make a positive influence leader.
Watch My Interview With Glenn Parker
- What do you think are the characteristics of influential leadership?
- Which type of positive influential leader are you?
- Do you think it is important for a leader to embody all the different types of positive influential leader styles?
Jim Rembach is the Editor in Chief of the Customer Service Weekly and it’s Podcast host. He is President of CX Global Media and the creator of the Call Center Coach Virtual Leaders Academy. As the host of the Fast Leader Show Podcast, he has interviewed hundreds of experts, authors, academics, researchers, and practitioners on various angles, viewpoints, and perspectives for improving the customer experience. He has held positions in retail operations, contact centers, customer support, customer success, sales, and measured the customer experience. He is a certified Emotional Intelligence practitioner, Employee Retention Specialist, and recipient of numerous industry awards.