After examining bucket-loads of literature and observing behaviours, I have 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 will have you holding your head high, before, during and after the conversation.
If you have more than a shred of “I need to get them to listen to me and buy my idea”, you’ll need to lose it :-).
Check It Out For Yourself
Think of a situation that’s real-life for you and…
- First, be sure you’re clear about your outcome—what you want.
Let’s say you want a member of Sam’s team to transfer into your team.
- Next, jump into your counterpart’s shoes
Strive to understand their position. Think about what it’s like in their world. What do they care about? What’s stressing them? How is his workload? What’s on track for him? What challenges might he be facing? The more you can get into Sam’s shoes, the more effectively you’ll influence him.
- Then find a win for him.
What’s in it for Sam to endorse the transfer of his team member into your team
- What might discourage your counterpart from agreeing to transferring his team member to your team?
What costs might he incur? What else could dissuade him?
- Stand back and carefully consider what success with this issue would look like for them.
Authentically care about what he cares about—still 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 delight him, I suggest you consider going back to the drawing board until you’ve got a big enough reason for Sam to be delighted with your proposal.
Are You Up For Putting This Hefty Emphasis On What The Other Person Wants?
The less you focus on getting what you want, the more you’ll get what you want.
You will 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:
- They now trust you to take care of them
- You’ve developed a better relationship with them.
Your Call To Action
Hopefully, you’re convinced that exploiting your counterpart is not the answer and you’re you up for adopting this collaborative stance.
Expect that whenever you do a seriously good job of understanding your counterpart’s position you’ll be thrilled with how influential you’ve become.
And, naturally, your other party will be thrilled too!
“Carolyn possesses an amazing range of skills and expertise to provide insights in a confidential and highly supportive environment. Ultimately this promotes learning, personal growth and building confidence and leadership capability. This has important flow-on effects not only for team members but for the organisation as a whole.”
Deputy CEO, Beyond Blue.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Carolyn Stevens has worked with leaders for more than 25-years—hundreds of them.
She’s helped leader after leader become totally proud of who they are as a leader—confident, courageous, impressively influential (even when they’ve 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: email@example.com