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Influencing is a necessary skill for anyone in business, whether a person is a manager or a salesperson. The ability to bring others to your way of thinking without force or coercion is important in business. Influencing others is a transferable skill business persons take with them from job to job in the business world. Managers want to convince employees to work hard, and salesmen need to convince clients their product is the best purchase choice, for example.

Not Threatening

One thing that influencing is not is threatening. It doesn’t make use of authority or threats to make a point or to make people act the way you want them to. Influencing does not require pushing or coercing. Influencing doesn’t disregard people’s thoughts and opinions. It does, however, require winning support from people.

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Influencing skills require a business person to take others’ perspectives into account. It involves getting people to change their minds about a topic and to act in a certain way by acknowledging their opinions. Influencing people is about getting something done instead of complaining that it is a certain way. People like being around those who can influence others. Influencing people makes almost any job easier, whether you want to convince investors to buy into your invention or want to heal relationships with injured stakeholders. It enables your organization to move toward its goals in a positive way.

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Being aware of yourself, your communication style and the impact you have on others is vital to being a person capable of influencing. Though you may prepare and present a well-thought-out talk on a topic, if you haven’t convinced your audience of its importance and why they should see the issue your way, you have not influenced them. You must acknowledge how others view your message and be willing to make changes to how you present it.


Being able to influence others in meetings and other business exchanges requires confidence. Even when you don’t have the authority to make a certain decision, being able to influence others can give you the confidence you need to suggest a change to managers and get them to accept your idea. If others regularly influence you when you want to say, “No,” knowing how to influence can also help you stand your ground and successfully persuade others that your way of thinking is correct.

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About the Author

Leyla Norman has been a writer since 2008 and is a certified English as a second language teacher. She also has a master's degree in development studies and a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology.

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