Influencing decision makers at work involves making the most of all of your interactions with them (both when you are tying to influence them as well as when you are not). Here are five things that you can do to grow your influence at work, one day at a time:
1. First, identify who the decision makers are. This is a critical, initial step because those with the most pull aren’t always who you think they are. Influence doesn’t necessarily align with the org. chart. Pay attention, ask around, and try to align with the people who seem to have the most input when it comes to big decisions.
2. Volunteer to work on that committee, to review something that needs reviewing, or to teach others on the team when an opportunity comes up. You’ll be seen as enthusiastic, dedicated and team-oriented. Think of it like building up your influence points for a time when you need them in the future.
3. Bring New Information to the Table. Add value to your company by always being up on the latest industry topics, data and trends. Casually drop this information during meetings, at brainstorming sessions, and in conversions with key people at your company.
4. Network. As they say, it’s often most about who you know. Build relationships with people on other teams and those who have positions that are different from your own. You’ll gain backing and grow connections throughout the organization (and your larger network) in the process.
5. Always Tie Your Ideas Back to the Bottom Line. There isn’t a company out there that doesn’t want employees who think like entrepreneurs. Whenever you’re trying to sell anyone on a concept at work, show them how it will boost the bottom line for the business. That’s one of the quickest (and surest) ways to gain support.
This question originally appeared on Quora.
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