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Professional Primer: ‘Influence’ shouldn’t be a dirty word

Posted on Monday, September 18, 2017 by Jessica Salerno

<p dir="ltr"><a href=""><em>By Jessica Salerno, OSCPA content manager</em></a></p> <p dir="ltr">Your group project is stalled. Your meetings never get anything accomplished. Your team can&rsquo;t agree on a course of action. Although it might not seem obvious, the underlying cause of these problems could be a lack of influence.</p> <p dir="ltr"><img src="/images/default-source/people/jennifer_yaross_1709.jpg?sfvrsn=777ded66_0" data-displaymode="Original" alt="jennifer_yaross_1709" title="jennifer_yaross_1709" style="float: left; margin-right: 10px;" />&ldquo;The ability to influence means understanding what everyone needs out of the situation and coming up with a solution that meets those needs while executing on the strategic goal,&rdquo; said Jennifer Yaross, CPA, vice president, investments controller at Nationwide Insurance.</p> <p dir="ltr">Influence can have some negative connotations attached to it, but Yaross said avoiding the idea entirely is a mistake. Bringing everyone along is at the heart of influence, she explained. While working with others, it&rsquo;s critical to understand where everyone is coming from, the better to guide the needs of the group to keep projects moving forward.</p> <p dir="ltr">Yaross said it&rsquo;s a mistake to only think of achieving a goal without considering the path it will take to get there, and this is where influence comes in.</p> <p dir="ltr">&ldquo;If you don&rsquo;t take time to step back and understand how everyone plays a part in that, you won&rsquo;t be effective in those projects,&rdquo; she said.</p> <p dir="ltr">Building up relationships with others is another crucial part of influence. Yaross said it&rsquo;s important to understand internal dynamics and relationships, along with the needs of different departments.</p> <p dir="ltr">Overall, she said including everyone will take time and investment, but it&rsquo;s a vital part of the process so you understand the people you&rsquo;re working with.</p> <p dir="ltr">&ldquo;It is really important during the course of someone&rsquo;s career to be able to take that moment and assess the situation,&rdquo; Yaross said. &ldquo;I think that if you intuitively recognize how to get things done you realize the importance of building relationships and gaining an understanding of others at the table.&rdquo;</p>

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  1. sumit | Apr 26, 2019

    Thanks for sharing useful information.

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