What's In this Post
What is Influencing?
This post looks at influencing effectively. To help us to understand how you can influence effectively, we first need to know what influencing is.
Influencing is a skill set whereby we use our behaviour or approach to change the thought process of someone else. For example, you may have a new idea that you want others to buy into and accept. You need to bring those people around to your way of thinking. Or, you want someone to change their behaviour towards you or give you something that you need.
In fact, we influence all of the time without even knowing it. We demonstrate body language constantly. People read this body language and perceive what we are thinking and how we are feeling. The fact that they choose how to deal with us means that we have influenced them. We can influence positively or negatively in these situations.
The term influencer is used a lot in today’s world – for example in the context of a social media influencer. This is someone famous or who has a large social media following who will be paid by a company to say they use their product. The fact that people know them and follow them will likely mean many of the people will be influenced to buy that product because the influencer uses it too. This is known as social proof.
6 Tips for Influencing Effectively
The tips below relate to bringing someone around to your way of thinking and provide some guidance on what we can do to influence others successfully:
- Know what you want – As that great saying goes, always start with the end in mind. Be sure you know what you want the outcome to be, what you want the others to do and what any change will look like.
- Explain your position clearly – Be sure to explain why it is you want to see a change made or things done differently. Use ‘I’ statements to show it is you driving the change and not someone else.
- Inspire them with a clear vision – Ensure the others truly understand the benefits of any proposals you are making. Let them know what any change will look like and feel like and the benefits it will bring. Help them to paint a picture in their minds.
- Use facts to back up your case- Use facts, case studies and projections to back up your proposal. Show them what successes others have had by adopting the approach you would like to take.
- Prepare, Prepare, Prepare – Find out as much as you can about the person or people you are trying to influence. Talk to others who may have been successful. Then structure your case clearly and be sure to be ready for any questions.
- Be ready for resistance – Think about what objections people may have towards your proposal. Once you have them, add this information to your proposal to reduce the resistance people will have.
Negotiation and Influencing Skills Training Course
We cover the above tips in much more detail along with other approaches, tips and ideas for influencing effectively in our Negotiation and Influencing Skills training course.