A lot has been written over the years, even by me, about how to influence another person.
After examining a few bucket-loads of literature, asking lots of questions, observing behaviours, and checking it out in practice, there’s no doubt that the sure-fire way to influencing someone is to—here it is—be committed to their success!
When I say “influence”, I don’t mean a self-centered manipulation that results in you getting what you want and the other party being screwed. I mean a positive interaction that has you feeling proud of your compassion.
And an early heads-up, if you have more than a shred of the “I need to get them to listen to me and buy my idea” thinking, you’ll need to lose it :-).
Check It Out For Yourself
Think of a situation that’s real-life for you—then follow these steps:
—First, be sure you’re clear about your outcome, what you want.
Let’s say you want to have a member of Sam’s team transfer into your team.
—Next, jump into your counterpart’s shoes.
Strive to understand their position. Ask yourself what it’s like in their world right now, what do they care about, what pressures could they be experiencing. The more you can get into Sam’s shoes, the more effectively you’ll influence him.
Initially, think generally—How is it in Sam’s world? How is his workload? What’s on track for him? What challenges might he be facing? How concerning are those challenges for him?
Then, regarding the team member you want to transfer into your team, what’s in it for Sam to endorse the transfer? What else could motivate him? What costs might he incur if the person transfers?
—Stand back and carefully consider what success with this issue would look like for your counterpart.
Care about what they care about—leaving your own agenda at the door.
Think, If I were Sam, what would I want? What would an ideal scenario look like for him?
Forget your logical reasoning, forget your sensible arguments.
Unless you can present Sam with a proposal that’s going to please him, I suggest you consider going back to the drawing board until you have got a big enough reason for Sam to be pleased with your suggestion.
Are You Up For Putting This Hefty Emphasis On What The Other Person Wants?
Here’s the bottom line: The less you focus on what you’ll get, the more you’ll get.
You’ll need to back off from pushing your case—but that will mean your counterpart will be oh-so receptive to having the conversation and you’ll be massively more persuasive.
And by the way, if you’re anything like me, it’ll feel good too :-).
Added to those rewards is the bonus that, in subsequent conversations with your counterpart, you’ll inherently be more influential with them because you’ve:
- Lifted the trust that they have in you, and
- Enhanced your relationship with them.
I hope you’re convinced by now that exploiting your counterpart is not the answer.
Your Call To Action
Are you up for trying out this collaborative stance?
I have certainty that whenever you do a seriously good job of understanding your counterpart’s position, you’ll be thrilled with how much more influential you are.
Naturally, your other party will be thrilled to feel so well understood too.
“I recommend Carolyn’s coaching to anyone who knows where
they want to go but needs help defining how to get there.
If you’re ready to take a step back, look openly at yourself
and your leadership style, then Carolyn is the right coach for you.”
—Digital Marketing & eCommerce Director, PANDORA
Carolyn Stevens has worked with leaders for more than 25-years—hundreds of them.
She’s supported leader after leader to flourish and become confident, courageous and impressively influential (including those who previously struggled to confront the difficult, let alone persuasively deal with it).
Carolyn is authentic and results-oriented. She’ll draw on an eclectic array of approaches, tools and techniques to suit your situation.
She’s never too busy to talk to you—or to leaders you refer who’re in a hurry to boost their success. Email to arrange a time to chat: firstname.lastname@example.org