Managers and leaders need to deliver results. The extent to which they deliver results depends on how effective they are when it comes to influencing. You might have to influence staff, your boss, the Board, funding bodies or lenders to name just a few. So how can you achieve better results through better influencing?
Tip 1: Be clear on your goals
People often go into situations where they need to influence without having clarity about what they want to achieve. In any influencing situation you need to be crystal clear on the outcome you want from the situation. It might be more staff, a new piece of equipment or a supplier discount. Whatever, the situation, be clear on what you want in terms of outcome.
Tip 2: Be informed
Have you ever been in a situation or observed a situation where it was clear that they had not done their homework in advance. With information and resources being so freely available these days, there is really no excuse for going into an influencing situation unprepared.
Tip 3: Order your thoughts logically
If you have done your research in advance, chances are that you will have collected a lot of information. Presenting this information in a logical and structured way will greatly improve your ability to influence positively. Make a point of thinking about the most logical way to present your thoughts. It is even better if you can do it with someone else.
Tip 4: Tailor points to the decision makers
You may well be the expert in your field or area but chances are that one or more of the decision makers will not be. When you are trying to influence and get a positive response, make sure that you tailor your points to things that will be important to decision makers.
Tip 5: Highlight the key benefits
The party you are trying to influence wants to know what is in it for me, the organisation and other stakeholders. The easiest way of addressing this is to highlight the key benefits of your proposition.
Managers and leaders will frequently find themselves in positions where they need to influence. So what’s your next step in becoming a more effective influencer?
Since 2006 I’ve worked with in excess of 6,000 accountants and professionals in workshops, seminars and one to one helping them land their next jobs and become better leaders, presenters and business partners. Before that I spent 25 years in accountancy climbing the career ladder from Payments Clerk to FD. I’m a CIMA Fellow, Certified Professional Coach and Team Coach Facilitator.