If you follow me on Twitter, you will know that I have been busy tweeting up a storm from the Career Directors International conference (#CDI10) and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), Atlanta conference (#SHRMATL10)Ã‚Â in the past week.
Today, I want to share some insights from Tom Herringon, a senior partner with The PAR Group. Tom spoke at SHRM Atlanta about the art of leadership and influence. It’s an important topic, both for managers and those in leadership positions and for job seekers who hope to influence people to hire them.
A few key points from Tom:
- Everyone is a decision maker. Telling people to do something is not effective; influencing them to take action is best.
- No decision is made without emotion. Gut instincts and feelings influence every decision we make.
- If you want to know how people feel, don’t pay attention to what they say, pay attention to their actions. Consider how they are speaking and what they actually do. Actions are easy to see, emotions are not. (I will have more insights about how to listen with all of your senses in my post about Beverly Inman-Ebel’s talk regarding listening. Hint: it’s not something you should be doing only with your ears!)
- Salesmanship done right looks like leadership.
- Leaders evaluate situations to allow themselves to be more easily followed.
- Leaders are inflexible about their goals, outcomes, objectives and targeted results. They are flexible about HOW to get there.
- Recognize that the decision about what to do rests with the individual. You can’t “make” someone take a specific action, but you can empathize, acknowledge their needs and respect their opinions in an effort to impact behavior.
Tom suggested acknowledging and respecting people, in part by suspending your point of view, empathizing with the other person’s viewpoint and depersonalizing the interaction. For example, instead of starting sentences with “you,” think about using “It” or “That” statements.
While Tom’s talk was for human resource professionals, there were many takeaways for job seekers:
- Your search is not only about being qualified for the job — people also hire based on what feels “right” to them — emotion is a key factor in hiring decisions. If you are not getting the job, it does not mean you are not qualified, it may relate to a larger issue of how you come across,Ã‚Â how you present yourself or how you make people feel. Self awareness about these topics may be difficult. Ask a trusted friend or coach if you think these factors may be preventing you from getting hired.
- In an interview, what people say is not always how they feel. An interviewer may tell you one thing, but if they look disinterested, check their watch, or don’t make eye contact, the important information is probably the non-verbal communication.
- You (the job seeker) are a decision maker, too. Remember — you are evaluating the employer in an interviewer, even as he or she assesses your qualifications for the job. Maybe the organization is not a good fit for you.
- Think about what you can do to make yourself a leader. Tom said, “Leaders evaluate situations to allow themselves to be more easily followed.” What are you doing to help people decide to follow you? Think about how to use social media tools to share your expertise. Wouldn’t it be great to have people coming to you with job opportunities instead of you applying for every job you want? (It is possible — I coach job seekers and entrepreneurs to leverage these tools for results.)
What other ideas to you have about the topic of influence and leadership, especially as they relate to the workplace and job search? Please share your thoughts in the comments.
photo from thegoldguys.blogspot.com/