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Facility Managers Can Increase Influence by Developing Credibility

Facility management, credibility, influence

Today's topic is the importance of influencing people over whom FMs don't have direct authority. Whether it's the IT department, human resources, or a business unit, FMs often have to work with people who don't have to listen to the facility manager. The secret, says Kit Tuveson of Tuveson Associates, is to develop "influence without authority" — a phrase that is the title of one of his favorite books.

Influence is built up by a variety of things. One is an understanding of what other people need in a situation, not just what the facility manager needs. Another is the facility manager's track record, not only for hitting deadlines or responding to complaints, but also for dealing fairly and honestly with others.

To Tuveson, it really comes down to credibility. "If you have it, you can influence people, you can increase your clout. It's earned in many small steps: the way you answer questions, the way you ask for approvals, the way you acknowledge people's successes or help mentor them with recovery from failures. It takes time to build it up, but it can be lost in an instant. You can ask BP about that right now."

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