How much influence do you really have?
The short answer to that question: a lot more than you think. The secret is tapping into it and maximizing its power. There are so many occasions in a given day when we need to exert influence over a given outcome... getting approval on a project or a budget, leading a group towards consensus, presenting a new idea, implementing procedural changes, negotiating a raise or a price for a contract. The list goes on and on. No matter what the situation, we could all benefit from learning how to maximize our influence. Here's a quick look at a few tips from management consultant and CCE workshop trainer Sophie Lemieux.
- Know your audience. You have to know who your audience is and what they want out of a given situation. Are they allies or obstacles? Are they on the same page as you? Do you know how they perceive your organization? Take some time to better understand their mindset before you try swaying them to your side.
- Create connections. One of the best ways of understanding your audience is by spending time with them before you make your case. Have informal discussions with them and ask them questions related to your specific area of interest, see how they interact with others. Build social capital by finding areas of common interest and agreement to set the stage for easier acceptance.
- Be adaptable. Sure, there are some areas of your idea, proposal or contract that are non-negotiable. But there are many other areas that can be adapted to increase your chances of influencing a given decision. Start with items that are the most likely to get approval and work from there. If you start with something contentious, it'll be all uphill from there.
- Learn from professionals. There are many great resources out there to help you build your power of influence, but why spend your time searching online when you can learn from a renowned business professional?
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