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7 Strategies for greater influence.

  1. Making others feel valued

However often you ask for advice from others or have their input effect the process, you are empowering. You are also empowering when you ensure that others receive public recognition for their successes.

There’s a more long-term payoff in fulfilled and grateful staff members than there is in temporary and fleeting credit for someone else’s work. And leaders benefit over the long term from well-developed employees who have experience contributing to decisions.

2.    Identifying other people’s concerns

Many times, concerns will not be brough to your attention, particularly if there’s not yet a degree of trust in the relationship.

It takes a leap of faith for someone who has a concern to raise their hand and mention it, which is why this works better one-on-one than it does in groups. And it works less well in urgent or time-critical situations, or if the concern can’t reasonably be addressed. But if you can master the art of picking up on a vibe of latent discomfort and helping someone through it, you will be a truly engaging leader.

 

Who do you know that comes across as a “perfect”, networked executive only to have very little operational ability, yet they seem to coast through the business world on their contacts?

To gain influence though good leaders should start focusing on this strategy, because it takes a long time to learn how to recognize valuable contacts, and even longer to build high-value relationships with them.

The highest value contacts are very busy people and associate with those from whom they can mutually benefit. Consequently, it’s harder to build the type of relationship that will result in support when you need it. It takes a long-term investment in time, consistent contact, and investment in emotional energy to take an interest in others.

3.    Identifying key influencers and getting their support

The reality of many organizations is that decisions are made or heavily influenced by people other than the bearer of the appropriate title. Many people have to have certain others bought into an idea before they will buy into it.

4.   Showing how your ideas support the organization’s broader goals

 

If you have a lot of personal credibility, and the organization produces an atmosphere of pride and high morale, you may be able to leverage these factors by demonstrating that your ideas are in line with the big picture.

Leaders who work from an exciting and inspiring vision can pass that excitement down through the ranks if the staff can make a connection between their function and the greater cause. But this strategy has its risks. If your culture does not breed communal value, or if you do not have the rank and clout to connect with that value, you will fall absolutely flat.

5.   Choosing the most interesting, memorable or dramatic way to present ideas

 

It tends to be presentational or event-like in nature, and while it creates a good first impression, it works best on those you don’t know very well.

If your audience is very left-brained or in any way detail-focused, you run the risk of being marginalized. Also, and this is very important: most people think they are giving presentations of quality impact, when actually they stink. Only maybe one out of a hundred presentations is of sufficient quality to leverage this strategy, so be very honest with yourself about your skill.

  • Logical Persuasion

Logical persuasion is potentially very effective, but only in specific contexts: systematic comparison, formal business proposal, concrete/sequential audience, etc. Don’t assume that logic will automatically win the day. People are human.

7.   Coercion

 

How many of you have had a boss that yells and throws fits?  This is coercion happening. It doesn’t even have to be that dramatic; a poorly performing employee who is being given a reform ultimatum is technically being coerced. And in the short term, like in emergency situations, it works.

This strategy is not as useful over the long term, and is not useful with knowledge workers who showed up to be valued for their ideas and input. It’s more useful with those who simply act in response to being told what to do.

Stuart Hartley
About the author

Incrementa has grown a significant track record in delivering business growth services to pre start and growing businesses. The team at Incrementa have helped to start over 1000 new businesses and have assisted over 250 existing businesses for all industries and sectors to grow and develop.

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