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How to Manage Without Authority

Manage Others Without Authority

We’ve all been in situations where we need to get something done and we need help to do it.  Think about how easy things would be if people just listened to you and did whatever you said.  Most times, we know that isn’t the case, even if the individual is a direct report.  Rather than just giving an order to do something, next time consider, how can I influence this person to be excited about doing the thing that I suggest?

4 Ways to Influence Others Without Authority

  • Be Mindful – Instead of just taking action with a request, take some time to be mindful of the situation.  What is the context of the request, what is the best way to reach out (email, phone, in-person), what might be going on for the other person?
  • Be Understanding  – You are managing people who are not direct reports.  The burden is on you to earn trust, share a vision, and hold people accountable.  You must work to engage team members, inspire them to action, empower them to make decisions, and project a confident attitude that people want to follow.  Know that people will challenge your ideas and even your authority – expect it and meet it with empathy.
  • Be Gracious – Share the glory and give credit where credit is due.  Make sure your manager knows your leadership and contribution in private, but praise everyone in public.  Team members will want to work with you on the next project.
  • Be Flexible – Challenges always happen, be prepared to confront them and agile enough to change direction if needed.  Team members will be watching to see how you respond and the opportunity to gain respect will be high.  Make sure you approach each situation with a flexible mindset – ready to adapt to change and challenges

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