There are many things geeks struggle with in the workforce that we already know of. However, it turns out there’s more! Geeks also struggle with influence in their organizations. This is especially seen in the IT departments. Here we will discuss the why geeks lack influence and necessary steps they can take to build it up. To see what Forbes has to say click here!
For starters, it is important to know why exactly geeks hold a lack of influence. There are three main reasons as to why they lack influence. One, they do not know the difference between power and influence. Two, they fail to cultivate the preconditions for being influential. Three, they try to use techniques intended to sails people, not geeks. Geeks tend to overlook these factors because they lie in the human domains of trust, relationships, and empathy. We all know geeks struggle to be personable, so it is a no brainer that it is hard for them to delve into traits of trust and empathy. Personally, I do not see myself as an extreme geek or a great influencer, but I do know being able to be personable with someone is great way to start. Emotion is important in literally every aspect of business and geeks really need to learn it and enforce it.
The first thing someone struggling with influence can do is to build an approach that best suits your goals and personalities as well as theirs. You want to have a common factor before you start influencing, whether it be personality related or you share the same goals. Having something in common can spark conversation and it can motivate you to become more willing to move people emotionally rather than powerfully bossing them around. Sharing goals also makes the work more mutual, thus there may be better understanding between you and the one you are trying to influence. Personally, I have little experience with his, but I will definitely try to find commonalities in the future when I am struggling to influence my staff (assuming I succeed in the workforce and build myself up to manager quality one day).
Next, it is crucial for geeks to reduce their own resistance to willingly try and move people. Once you get passed the fact that humans are not predictable and consistent, like technology, you can start molding an approach of influence. This approach must be done willingly and you must try to appeal to emotions. You can do this by making them feel good. People tend to chose and follow things that make them feel good, not bad. Unlike geeks, basic people tend to find good feelings in things like status, harmony, and self-expression. These terms may seem foreign to geeks, but they are aspects of life that keep the common folk of the workplace happy. Even though these may not make the geek feel good, it is important that he or she places their needs of happiness above their own when trying to influence. It may be hard to incorporate the qualities of self-expression and status into your approach, but that is what the internet is for. If I were trying to build up influence, I would simply tailor to the status craving by subtly recognizing ones position with slight praise every once in a while.
Conclusively, it is easy to see that geeks struggle with influence and how to maintain it in the workforce. However, there are many ways to learn how, and the recommendations above would be a good starting point. Remember, be personable, not disagreeable, and be influential, not almighty powerful. There is a difference and it needs to be recognized if you want to be a great influencer.