Underconfidence can lead us to search for ways to gain influence when what we really need is to get better at recognizing the influence we already have. The author offers three suggestions, not for gaining influence, but for becoming more aware of the influence you have already, so you can begin to use it more wisely.
Most people underestimate their influence. When researchers ask people how much they think others pay attention to them, think about them, and then compare these estimates to objective indicators of how much others actually pay attention to them, they'll agree to do things for them. People in positions of power can underestimate their influence by assuming that their subordinates feel more comfortable challenging them than they actually do.