Important People Skills to Successfully Influence w/o Authority | #PeopleSkills

To succeed in business, develop these thirteen important people skills to influence without authority and power. You will create more buy-in, teamwork, and ownership.



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13 Most Important People Skills to Succeed Without Authority

Influencing is not the same as manipulation. It is the positive honest interaction which empowers people to achieve together. Develop the following important people skills to influence without power and authority.


Adapting to personality type, generation, culture.

Highly successful people are great at spotting differences in people and turning personality differences into teamwork. They turn generational gaps into bridges. They convert cultural divides into global solutions.


Communicating with honesty not bluntness.

Bluntness is a privilege that others give you. When you assume the privilege of bluntness, you leave a scar. It paints you as an obnoxious fool with no emotional intelligence — and no real power. Diplomatic honesty, on the other hand, shows you respect others. It highlights your ability to collaborate for results. Being blunt without permission leaves a scar; being honest with diplomacy leaves a positive memory. It is one of the most important people skills.


Confidence and humility.

Confidence and humility are not opposites. They are partners for collaboration. Being confident in your abilities shows others you are willing to help. Being humble enough to honor other’s talents shows you can collaborate well. You can be grateful for applause and applaud others as well. Be confident in your knowledge and humble in giving it. Leave arrogance by the wayside and succeed with others. Confidence and humility are important people skills.



Questioning not threatening.

Asking great questions is a great contribution to any team or project. It clarifies assumptions, opens discussion, unearths possibilities, prevents blind siding, fuels discovery, facilitates conflict resolution, feeds learning, and fosters continuous improvement.

Ask great questions without threatening others, insulting their logic and intelligence, or embarrassing their positions. You will earn trust and admiration for your contribution. Replace questions like don’t you think with open-ended (how, what, where…) questions that produce true dialogue.


Know & Manage Your Own Triggers & Blind Spots.

Your self-awareness is one of the most important people skills. When you know your own triggers and blind spots, you avoid taking others there. They will see you as highly objective even in tough moments.


Realistic optimism.

Optimists and pessimists debate which is better. Pessimists believe that optimists have their heads in the clouds and ignore the truth. Optimists believe that pessimists are change resistant complainers who block success. Both miss the mark. If you operate with realistic optimism you inspire everyone while identifying the challenges that minimize risk and increase success.


Thick skin & a warm heart.

In working with others, your ideas may take a few hits along the way. If you take personal offense, you become a drag on success. If you have a thick skin when taking feedback and a warm revenge-free heart in contributing, you become a driver of success. Others will see you as an asset to any team. Developing this balance is one of the most important people skills.


Thirst for knowledge and ability to change.

Learn & evolve. If you see each day as a fountain of learning and a chance to evolve, others will be drawn to you. You will also survive many reorganizations. One scientist survived seven of these events because, as management said, “We can put you in many departments and you adapt and hit the mark.” Survival of the fittest: be versatile, not comfortable.


Focus on results.

There is magic in focusing on results. It helps everyone to filter out office politics. It redirect tangents, moves past slights, and sustains momentum. As long as this focus doesn’t blind you to other’s opinions and contributions, it is one of the most important people skills.


Giving before taking.

When you have little or no authority, coming on too strong with questions or ideas can reduce your credibility. Show commitment before assuming trust. Give applause before taking it. Offer the extra effort before asking for official responsibility. Listen as well as speak. It sets the tone of collaboration.


Taking small steps to big ideas & results.

High achievers often have big ideas. When they resist the many steps to achieving those results, they alienate others. If you are inspired to set big goals and work hard toward achieving them, your can-do reputation will spread fast and wide. Others will see you helping to set new goals as well as reaching results.


Finding the story to effect change.

To reach results, you must engage along the way. If you don’t have the authority to issue mandates, unearthing the story is the way to success. Everyone you work with has a story and viewpoint that will either block or feed success.

Even official leaders must often influence other teams over whom they have no authority. One of my clients was tapped for a senior leadership position over many teams because (as they told her) “you are able to find the story to bring about change”. Her questions, listening, discussion, and belief in other’s talents produced many positive results.


Open mindedness not indecisiveness.

Achieving results with others comes from knowing that open-mindedness is not the same as indecisiveness. Remember this and you will help poor collaborators see the difference. You will also flexibly reconsider your view with new developments. You will shine in considering all the possibilities and reach collaborative decisions. Neither narrow-minded snap judgments nor analysis paralysis leads to success. Consider all views and be able to offer an informed opinion sooner than later.



Develop these important people skills to succeed in a today’s collaborative workplace. They make you highly desirable when ad hoc teams are formed. They catch the eye of those deciding on succession planning. These important people skills hone your long term career portfolio for future leadership positions.

These important people skills is also a great reservoir of specifics for your resume and cover letter. Phrases like excellent communication skills say little about your strengths. However, examples from your work that illustrate these important people skills distinguish you from other applicants. They show how you can break down obstacles and succeed without authority. These important people skills underscore your collaborative prowess.



From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

Related Video:
Easily Adapt to Personality Types!

©2018 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email info@katenasser.com for permission and guidelines. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.


Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.


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2 Responses to “Important People Skills to Successfully Influence w/o Authority | #PeopleSkills”

  1. Hey Kate,

    It great to be reading your post again. It’s always the best efforts you have put into your content, that’s why it will help many out there looking to learn.

    By the way, Thanks for the great read Kate.

    ~ Donna

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