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Strategies to Improve Influence as a Manager

Looking for strategies to improve your influence as a manager? Start by implementing these 10 proven tips today!

By Mara Calvello  •   July 13, 2023  •   8 min read

Only some people are cut out to be managers. It takes a specific kind of personality, work ethic, and set of skills to be a manager that others trust and seek out when they have problems and who can motivate their team.

The best type of manager is the one who influences the people with whom they work every day, ensures their team functions efficiently, and has the respect of their direct reports. If you’re looking for strategies to improve your influence as a manager, Fellow has 10 tips you can apply today!

The importance of having influence as a manager

Having influence as a manager can go a long way in terms of experiencing success in your career and leading a successful and productive team. It’s all about attracting positivity and enthusiasm. Let’s break down some other reasons having influence can benefit managers.

1Improves productivity

When managers lead by example, put in their full effort, and find ways to motivate their team, the team’s work ethic is sure to improve, followed by an enthusiasm to work hard and achieve greatness. When a manager leads teams with influence, the sky’s the limit regarding productivity!

2Motivates employees

Motivation looks different to all team members—some may be motivated by being “the best,” and others may feel motivated when given challenging projects. Managers with influence know the key motivators for their employees so they can ensure all team members are working to their fullest potential.

Managing a team?

Take control of your team meetings by having collaborative meeting notes and encouraging accountability with action items. Try a tool like Fellow!

3Helps achieve workplace goals

Each team member plays a significant part in achieving both team goals and organizational goals. Being a manager with influence means finding ways to exceed expectations and helping ensure that deadlines and milestones get met and that goals are achieved. 

4Encourages employee development

Finally, when team members have a manager whom they are looking to impress and whom they respect, their professional development will naturally improve, and they will strive to grow in their careers through hard work, determination, and a positive attitude.

10 tips to improve influence as a manager 

If you want to improve your influence as a manager, consider implementing these 10 tips!

1Provide regular feedback 

Whether you’re managing one person or a team of 50, providing regular feedback is crucial. Providing constructive feedback, discussing strengths and vulnerabilities, and sharing suggestions are all part of having influence as a manager. When you find ways to turn challenges into learning opportunities and are available for questions, employees know you genuinely care about their work and want to help them improve.

Then, go one step further by creating a feedback loop. This is regular, two-way communication between you and your direct reports where feedback is given regularly. You should be providing feedback to team members to improve employee performance; in turn, team members can use feedback loops to share their thoughts with their manager. 

Hold one another accountable for regular feedback by using Fellow! Fellow enables your team to share real-time feedback on meetings, projects, and performance.

2Cultivate a trusting environment

Employees need to believe that their manager has their back and is acting in ways that benefit them. A manager can gain their employees’ trust by being honest about changes, policies, and strategies while fostering open communication. Providing direct reports with honest thoughts and opinions and ensuring team members know they’ve done a great job on projects and action items can go a long way!

Similarly, a manager with influence trusts their team to complete their daily tasks and responsibilities without micromanaging or hand-holding. Prove to your team you trust them to do their work!

3Be a mentor

If you haven’t considered mentorship, now is the time to do so! Mentoring team members allows you to offer guidance on positive work habits and share workplace tips. Doing so shows others you’re enthusiastic about your job, the organization’s goals, and your team’s success.

To get started as a mentor, lead a mentor meeting! You can discuss career development, situational advice,  and skill-related feedback during this time. Find out what your mentee is passionate about, where they may struggle, and how you can help them achieve their goals.

Get started with this free mentor meeting template, brought to you by Fellow!

4Build a relationship with your employees 

To have a meaningful professional relationship with your team, you need to have a solid relationship by engaging with them often. There are several ways to go about this: You could involve them more in the decision-making process when appropriate, keep them up to date on relevant changes to strategies, and have consistent and meaningful one-on-one meetings, for example.

It’s important to use the time during these one-on-ones to check in on them, ask how they’re doing, make sure they feel valued and appreciated, and help them with any challenges they may face. 

Employees will always appreciate and recognize when their manager is genuinely concerned with their happiness at work, and forming this type of relationship helps to influence them successfully. 

5Have accountability

An influential manager knows that accountability goes both ways—and if they want all team members to adhere to specific rules or expectations, they have to follow them too. 

Actively hold your team members accountable for their actions and decisions, and ensure they know they can hold you accountable to the same standards. This is an excellent way to build respect as a leader, as employees will notice shared accountability.

Holding yourself and your team accountable can be challenging, so managers looking to build influence should use a tool like Fellow to help foster a culture of accountability, consistency, and inclusion.  Accountability will come easily with the right tools to promote and implement best practices for effective one-on-ones and team meetings across their organization!

6Improve your communication skills

Honing in on manager influence comes from improving several soft skills—one being communication. Effective managers have mastered everything from verbal and nonverbal to written and visual communication.

A good place to start is by considering the best way to communicate with each team member. One of your direct reports may prefer verbal or face-to-face communication, while another may lean towards written communication. Consider these preferences when communicating with your team and find ways to improve!

If you’re unsure where to start, kick communication off by checking in with employees regularly and creating a positive atmosphere where they feel comfortable communicating with you.

7Build a culture of growth

Another way to establish influence as a manager is to create a workplace culture that promotes efficient collaboration, professional development, and growth. Encourage your team to learn new skills, try their hand at different projects, and lead learning sessions for the team! 

Managers with influence want their team members to continuously learn so they can bring these new skills to the current team and apply them down the line in different roles or new jobs.

“The most important aspect of building influence is by providing opportunities for growth and personal development. Your team feels valuable when they are able to enhance their skills and get a chance to build on their knowledge.”

Alejandro Rioja, Growth-Minded Marketer.

8Encourage collaboration

We all know there’s no I in team, but managers with influence take this one step further by encouraging collaboration within their team. Instead of being siloed and working on individual tasks, employees should combine their knowledge and skills to solve problems. When managers encourage collaboration, everyone’s ideas and experiences bounce off one another to achieve greater success.

9Find ways to motivate your employees

A high-performing team is one where everyone is motivated to do their best work. So, managers with influence need to know what motivates their direct reports. A motivated team member gets their job done in a timely manner, works hard, and is always looking for more opportunities to learn new skills and grow. Managers should motivate their employees to foster productive hard work, but should also keep in mind that not everyone is motivated by the same thing.

Some ways managers can improve their influence and motivate their employees are:

  • Sharing recognition for a job well done
  • Encouraging career growth
  • Providing positive feedback
  • Offering flexible working hours
  • Encouraging creativity and autonomy
  • Listening to problems

10Be confident

Finally, an influential manager is a confident manager. Having confidence and taking pride in your work shows your team you’re someone they can count on. A confident demeanor sets the tone around you while showing others you believe in yourself, so they should believe in you, too.

How to foster influence as a manager with Fellow

Managers unsure how to improvise their influence should be armed with a powerful tool like Fellow. Fellow focuses on improving communication and goal alignment so managers can lean into its features to enhance their leadership skills and hone results. 

Thanks to collaborative features, managers and their teams can establish the best way to communicate so that everyone stays on the same page and works toward shared objectives, action items, and goals. For example, Fellow’s collaborative meeting agendas and notes ensure that everyone in the meeting is on the same page, participating. Fellow also offers a goal-setting and tracking functionality that enables individual and team goals to remain in sync with the organization’s overall vision, purpose, and direction. 

When managers use Fellow, influence is easily achieved through effective communication, collaboration, and progress towards a common goal.

Parting advice

An influential manager doesn’t have to have all the answers or be perfect every day. Having influence as a manager is all about leading by example, being there for the team, and helping employees grow and develop. Start implementing these 10 tips, along with a tool like Fellow, and you’ll see changes in how your team operates and responds to your guidance!

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