Strengthen Your Ability to Influence People
Whatever your function, influence is essential for problem-solving and making things happen. In the corporate environment, this entails influencing others to assist you in effecting change, implementing crucial choices, and generating buy-in for your ideas.
In truth, influence occurs at work, whenever you form a connection, maintain a relationship, or establish your reputation. The goal is to convince others to do what you ask because they want to, not because you told them to. This is a talent that only the most powerful company executives have mastered. Here are five guidelines to help you influence people:
A Process of Persuasion
Giving a convincing presentation is only one aspect of influence. Building relationships, understanding people's viewpoints, and being clear about what you want and what they want is all part of the process.
To include this method into your everyday routine, see every contact as a potential present and future impact source.
Take the time, for example, to get to know the individuals around you. Pay close attention to what they are concerned about. Make a name for yourself by being consistent, sincere, and compassionate.
Product of Trust
This necessitates the development of connections as well as your reputation.
Why should people believe you? What actions have you taken to gain their trust?
One method to build trust is to make a promise and then follow through on it. This should be done regularly, not only when you need something.
Need to Feel Heard
Take your time to thoroughly understand where people are coming from, both emotionally and mentally. The ability to ask intelligent, probing questions is critical for understanding the other person's point of view and discreetly influencing.
When you understand where individuals are coming from, you can determine what content appeals to them. You can structure your request persuasively because you've taken the time to learn what's important to them.
In addition to making people feel valued and heard, asking insightful questions has the benefit of making them feel respected and heard. When individuals feel heard, their defensive walls crumble, and they become more respective to what you have to say.
There are several frameworks available to assist you in communicating your message to internal and external stakeholders in a clear, convincing, and persuasive manner. Here's one example of a communication framework:
Explain the existing situation. What is going on right now?
- Identify a need/problem. What is the issue with the existing situation? What has to be changed?
- Specify the desired state. What does it mean to be "good"? Why is it critical to make the adjustment or follow their advice?
- Satisfy or fix the problem. What should be done? What measures must be taken to remedy the situation or bring about a change? Begin from a mutual or their point of view.
- Use your imagination. Consider the advantages of resolving the situation. What makes this better?
- A request for action. Obtain a commitment and/or an agreement.
As much as you want to acquire what you want, you should constantly consider the long-term consequences. If you are perceived as a problem solver and solution supplier, you will gain trust in the long term, making it much simpler to influence the following time.
Remember that all five of these concepts function in tandem as part of a continuous persuasive process. If you include them all into your daily life, you will be more effective in persuading people.
Ready to learn more about how to influence others by understanding their needs? Just pick up a copy of Stephen Covey's, "7 Habits of Highly Effective People."
This article is part of our Business Coaching blog series. At Dataczar we talk to a lot of small businesses. We’ve found a few books that we keep recommending time and again. To better help our customers, we’ve added a Reading List for Small Businesses to our website. We encourage every small business owner to read and keep these timeless business books on their office shelf.