How to create impact and influence

Published: 7 August 2023

#CuriousMoments with Advita 

Do you walk into an event or a room wishing you could influence better? Or had the confidence to say what you want?

We’ve all been there. In one of my roles, I attended the monthly Senior Leadership Team Meeting. I had to give an update on comms and share what we planned for the month ahead. After a few meetings, my manager shared some feedback they received: “A couple of directors have fed back to tell me that you don’t contribute in the SLT meeting.”

Honestly, I was stunned as I thought I was contributing and adding value. But when I reflected, I realised that I only spoke when asked a question or during my 10-minute update. I was always waiting for permission.

I knew I had to shift it up to earn respect from the leadership team and, more importantly, respect for myself.

So I did three things:

1) I always reviewed the agenda in advance, so I knew what the discussion points were beforehand. I made notes about what I wanted to contribute. To enable this, I added a 15 min buffer before my meeting.

2) I tried to contribute in the first 10 minutes of a meeting so my voice was heard, even if it was to agree with a point or raise a question. This took a bit of courage, but I always felt better for it afterwards.

3) Rather than talk at them during my section, I tried to make my session more conversation based. So, I’d ask, “What are your reflections?” or “Is anything missing for you?” This boosted my confidence, and it also allowed the conversation in the room to be more vibrant.

It took some time to get to a position where I felt I had influence. But I stayed consistent and built strong relationships with leaders, so they got to know me better. I became part of their community and, in some cases, good friends.

You don’t need to be the loudest voice in the room, but these minor tweaks can make a massive difference to how you create impact and influence. But remember, if you have a seat around that table, use it wisely.

If you or your team need some support with impact and influence, get in touch. I’d love to help you!


Originally posted on LinkedIn, Follow me for more curious moments.

Share on your socials: