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Assert More Influence Without Bullying Teammates

If you worry that your attempts at gaining more influence over your team may come across as Machiavellian, keep reading. There are many ways you can increase your rapport with teammates without getting cutthroat.

When you think of increasing your influence over your team, you might think of assertiveness and dominance -- but these qualities can backfire. Instead, use body language and manners to exert influence without dominating the team.

Gain Rapport In Team Meetings

Studies have shown that both men and women respond more positively to group speakers who use “task cues,” which subtly imply competence and self-confidence, according to Psychology Today.

Here are a few task cues that Psychology Today identifies. Try them out during your next team meeting and watch your teammates’ positive responses.

  • Fast, fluent speech
  • Eye contact
  • Sitting at the head of the table
  • Fluid gestures
  • Well-moderated tone of voice

These actions all give subconscious cues to those around you that you’re competent and reliable -- without putting off your teammates by trying to exert direct power over them.

You should avoid “dominance cues,” which imply threats and forced control, warns Psychology Today. If you find yourself falling into one of these habits, try to correct it so you don’t put teammates on the defensive:

  • Loud voice
  • Angry tone of voice
  • Pointing fingers
  • Lowered eyebrows
  • Stiff posture
  • Forceful gestures

Win Over Teammates Outside Of The Conference Room

Your behavior in team meetings is important if you want to gain more influence over the team’s decision-making. But there are other things you can do to gain teammates’ respect.

Dig back through your childhood memories and dust off the “golden rule” your mother taught you, suggests Kori Rodley Irons in her article “How To Win Over And Influence Your Colleagues.” Treat teammates the way you’d want them to treat you, and you’ll be sure to gain a few respect points in their eyes.

You should also make an effort to get to know your teammates. This doesn’t mean you need to be best buddies and get together on the weekends, says Irons. But you should know their family members’ names and ask about their weekends. Show genuine interest in their personal lives. You may also learn more about them as people -- which can help you work more effectively as an office team.


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