A key part of growing your influence begins with those you interact most with at work. This is important for two reasons. First, many companies will look at peer input as they consider advancement opportunities. If those around you don’t respect you then it’s not likely you’ll get promoted to lead others. Second, if promoted you may be leading your former peers and you want to make sure you have their initial support. It is much easier to move forward quickly when you have initial support and enthusiasm opposed to having to invest months in trying to win back support. The groundwork for this begins from day one on the job, not day one of a new leadership position. Besides being the right thing to do in treating others with respect, it becomes the foundation for building strong relationships at every stage of your career.

The working basis for your work relationships are the same as those you have outside of the office: seek to be authentic and open. This applies whether you are extraverted or if you tend to be more introverted. Being naturally outgoing does not give license to be artificial with people just as being more wired for quietness gives permission to ignore others. You have to find the right balance in what seems true to your personality. It is not unusual for others to sense when someone is being true to themselves so those who recognize you as easygoing will find they enjoy that aspect and those who intuit you are naturally more reserved will appreciate the steps you take to recognize them.

As you find your groove with which your natural personality defaults that best fit your office environment here are a few working tips that may also help:

Demonstrate interest in other’s work. This is a universal sign that you can get out of your own head and can appreciate what others do. Without being overly nosy you can seek to better understand how the various roles around the office contribute to the work. Simple questions like“what do you like about your job” and “what do you find challenging” are great questions to begin to learn how things work and what roles different people play. Also look for opportunities come to jump into cross-functional teamsas this also will help you grow in your understanding and appreciation for what others do.
Ask for feedback and accept it. This ranges from such questions such as “what can I do to help” to “how can I be better at what I do?” The former is more broad and as you get to know people better you can move toward the more specific feedback type of questions. Remember however,when you ask people’s opinion be prepared to hear something that might sting a bit. Always accept requested feedback gratefully and you will continue to get good feedback. Push back on it or make excuses for it and the quality of feedback you get will go down exponentially. Demonstrating you can handle feedback with grace is a powerful way to grow your influence (especially if you act on the feedback you receive).
Accept blame, even if you solely aren’t at fault. This doesn’t mean you become the “fall-guy” (or fall-girl) for the office by taking blame for any and everything. What it does mean is recognizing not everything we do works out perfectly. It is OK to let people know you gave it a strong effort but just did not nail it this time. Seek to clarify what could have been better and fix it the next time. Reasonable team members around you will recognize that not every project wildly succeeds and will have a growing respect for someone who can admit they wish to learn and improve.


These are but a few of the ways that you can demonstrate an authenticity that others recognize and will become the basis for their opinion that you are a person of integrity. People of integrity inevitably become worthy of trust and from trust comes the opportunity to influence. As you seek to grow as a person and practice steps such as these you will find that your fellow team members become more and more responsive to you providing a great opportunity for you to invest back in them an grow a strong and positive relationship.