The concept of sphere of influence concerns the domain, or the areas of our careers, in which one can effectively exert influence.
Think of the spheres of influence like a set of concentric circles, in which influence is strongest near the center, and weaker as the distance from the center increases. Your personal sphere of influence is likely to be strong in some spheres, departments, teams, divisions, and weak in others.
Think about your relationships with vendors, suppliers, professional associations, and your colleagues. How much influence do you really have with each connection?
The strength of personal influence is a function of two elements: one or another form of positional, relational, or personal power, and the level of the dependencies of others.
You can use what are called the currencies of exchange to expand your organizational influence. These currencies are such things as goods and services, talents and skills, information, and resources that are at your disposal, to build influence with others in the organization.
Consider technical assistance, the sharing of information, or the lending of space or equipment as tools to use to assess and assert the strength of your spheres of influence. Think about how you can help others that are struggling with technology.
Share information that helps a superior or a subordinate successfully tackle a task. Express public recognition of others’ achievements.
It really doesn’t matter what you do as long as it is valuable to them.
Be strategic in your efforts to extend your influence. Give priority to the spheres of influence that are most relevant to your success. Understand what others want or value. Ask yourself where your influence is most needed and then find ways to create and expand that influence.