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5 Ingredients That Build Up Your Leadership Skills Muscles Episode 5 – Influence

Roxana is the Founder of All Personal, a Canadian award-winning leadership and team coaching & training company helping corporate team leaders and start-up co-founders boost leadership skills to become dream ‘bosses’ and build dream teams.

Executive Contributor   Roxana Radulescu

In our previous episodes, we talked about on the role that Vision, Listening, Feedback, Coaching & Mentoring play in the dynamic landscape of team leadership. Time to look at the fifth ingredient today: influence! Now, I will start with this: you can only influence as much as you let yourself be influenced by others! Yes, I know, maybe it seems counter-intuitive, but here’s why it’s not.

A quote of Jamie Cutis

1. Let yourself be influenced first.

As a leader, you need data that helps you make well-informed decisions. If you want to influence on a larger scale, that is.

What’s the best way to get that data? Well, check with your team! They are there because they are all leaders in what it is they’re responsible for. We expect that they take accountability and responsibility for their actions and results. So then why not include them in the conversation when making decisions that affect them?

So, what’s the best way to get that data? Yes, learn how to listen as a leader and how to ask, receive and give feedback. And then decide what to do next!

2. Expand your own circle of influence

Now, with all the data you have available, you’re ready to expand your own circle of influence!

When people feel heard and understood, they will be more ready to listen to and understand you! Now they’re ready to contribute! Now that they feel included in the conversation, they will feel more motivated!

When you think about your capacity to expand that circle of influence, make sure that you pay attention to how you say what you say!

Remember, we will always believe what we see over what we hear! 

So, imagine a case scenario where you’re saying something like: ‘I am so excited about this idea that you had’, but your body language will ‘communicate’ the opposite. 

What do you think will happen? The other person will most likely believe those non-verbal cues over the verbal ones.

So, what do you need to do next?

3. Work on your leadership presence – verbal and non-verbal

Make sure you work on your leadership presence: understand how you convey your messages, notice how they are received, ask for feedback, and then choose to work on the things that don’t work in your favor.

Here are some questions that help you work on your presence more:

  • What does your body language convey when you talk to your team, or your clients? 

  • What’s your tone of voice?

  • How might the others interpret the message based on your non-verbal cues?

  • What is your communication style? How is it different from your audience’s style?

  • What would they need to hear from you?

4. Develop your emotional intelligence

“Emotional intelligence is the difference that makes the difference. A lack of emotional intelligence is what limits some people in their ability to manage themselves, manage others, or manage situations.” (J.D. Meier, former Director of Innovation at Microsoft)

A recent study of the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development in the UK (CIPD) says that: ‘Nearly as much as 80% of the reasons why careers are derailed can be traced to weaknesses in Emotional Intelligence.’

The good news? Emotional Intelligence is a skill we can all work on and improve.

So, how do we do that? Here are the 4 dimensions you need to be aware of and practice to keep building your emotionally intelligent leadership skills muscle!

You will have noticed one thing: it all starts within. It starts with managing yourself. The mistake I see people making, especially at the beginning of their leadership journey, is this: they focus on successfully managing others first. And they struggle. And get frustrated when this doesn’t work the way they thought it would. And then they give up and simply change the place where they operate (changing jobs because of that is something I’ve often seen happening) only to bump into the same issue later on.

Because they started in the wrong place. 

Start with yourself. The minute I am aware of how I react, which behaviors I want to keep and which ones I need to change, that’s when real change can happen. Self-awareness is what helps us all realize what our strengths are and what our weaknesses are that cause us problems. And then we can start fixing them. Then we can self-manage and choose to change one behavior with another one that’s more helpful for us and the others around us.

And then, yes, can we expect to better manage the team’s work better, too! 

5. Be curious instead of needlessly authoritarian (defensive)

A common example is that when we’re so passionately presenting an idea that we believe in and the others will have objections to it, we tend to become defensive.

Approach it with curiosity rather than defensiveness and you’ll see some tables turning!

Some leaders fear that they need to have all the answers or otherwise that’s a sign of weakness. Nothing further from the truth! 

Power is a two-way street!

Are you really a leader if you have no ‘real’ followers? Or if they’re only following you because they have to? 

And are you an authentic leader if you’re not ready to follow the experts in your team when they are taking the helm? What does that say about your decision, as a leader, to hire them in the first place?

Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedInYouTube, and visit my website for more info!


Roxana Radulescu, Leadership & Team Coach

Roxana is the Founder of All Personal, a Canadian award-winning leadership and team coaching & training company helping corporate team leaders and start-up co-founders boost leadership skills to become dream ‘bosses’ and build dream teams. Unlike other people leadership programs that focus on top executives, All Personal also works with mid-senior corporate leaders and start-up co-founders – and their teams! Roxana is a TEDx speaker, a certified Professional Coach – ACC with the International Coaching Federation, EIA with the European Mentoring & Coaching Council (EMCC), and Team Coach – ITCA with EMCC, Scaled OKRs coach and a certified GCologist®. She holds a diploma in Learning & Development and Human Resources practice from the Chartered Institute for Personnel & Development in the UK.r-generational learning and loves the multicultural blend of European​,​ Canadian and US influences in her life.


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