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How easily do you believe you influence others with your communication?

SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership — tracks feedback from more than 190,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each week in our e-newsletter.

Last week, we asked: How easily do you believe you influence others with your communication?

  • Extremely — I’m a master influencer and communicator: 5.71%
  • Very — I have great communication and influence skills: 50.41%
  • Somewhat — I’m not always successful at influencing others: 39.39%
  • Not very — I have a difficult time influencing others: 4.08%
  • Not at all — I’m a poor communicator and influencer: 0.41%

You can’t lead if you can’t communicate.  Leadership is inherently about communication. If you’re not as influential as you’d like to be, it’s likely because you’re coming at things from your perspective rather than from your audience’s. Stop for a moment and define your desired outcome. Then think through what your audience wants and how their desires intersect with your goals. The better you’re able to help them understand how your goals are linked to their objectives, the more likely you are to successfully influence them. If your goals are at odds with their desires, at least you’ll understand where they’re coming from and can have a productive discussion about your differences of opinion. Look to others who are influential and study the tools and techniques they use. Pick up and use those tools to improve your influence skills on a regular basis.

Mike Figliuolo is managing director of thoughtLEADERS and author of “One Piece of Paper: The Simple Approach to Powerful, Personal Leadership.”