The ‘art’ of influencing is a vital ability for any leader to possess especially in today’s modern organisations as goals often require collaborative effort to be achieved.
Alternatively consider using the following hints and tips to improve the influence you have. Influence can be broken down into four core activities:
- The message itself (content)
- How the message is communicated
- The relationships you have with the ‘receiver’
- How you conduct yourself in relation to the above
Firstly it is important to consider the message itself. Too often people frame their message in terms that appeal to them personally. However, just because it appeals to you doesn’t necessarily mean it will appeal to others. Dale Carnegie referred to this point as akin to baiting your hook with strawberries and not worms when trying to catch a fish. So think – what’s in it for the other person? What will they gain (or lose)? Bait your hook with worms and not strawberries!
The second point is how the message is delivered. Is the message delivered in a believable manner? Do the words you use reinforce and strengthen your message or do they weaken it? Are you confident and assertive in your delivery (voice, tone, body language etc.) or do you come across as the opposite?
The third point is about the relationship you have with those you are trying to influence. It is important to recognise that the closer more trusting and mutually respectful relationships you have with those you wish to influence, the more likely you are to be successful. Would you be influenced by someone you didn’t trust?
The last point is how you conduct yourself in relation to the above. People may be influenced by what you say, but they will definitely be influenced by what you do. Consider the project manager who continually harps on about the importance of meeting deadlines, attending project reviews and following project procedures but then fails to deliver on their own commitments regarding the above? If you wish to influence others, check your own behaviours to ensure they are congruent with what you say.
As mentioned earlier, influencing is a vital skill for any leader to possess so if you wish to develop your people to be more influential consider our 2 day in house Improving Impact and Influence Course designed to enable delegates to influence their peers and senior managers more effectively.