Increasingly, leaders involved in implementing change need to operate outside clear reporting lines. Sometimes their colleagues may not immediately see why they should co-operate and that’s when the powers of influence and persuasion come into play.
So what is influence?
It’s the ability to communicate and present a message effectively to lead others to support it in achieving an outcome you believe is important. It is a critical lateral leadership skill.
Influence: More than a compelling business case?
How Do Successful Influencers Influence?
To the surprise of many, good influencers do NOT believe that influence centres alone around providing compelling evidence or argument as to why a course of action is appropriate. The novice influencer who starts with rationally constructed argument or formal business case is often left wondering why their great idea was greeted with indifference or sometimes defensiveness and disagreement.
Influence Actually Begins With Credibility.
The starting point is providing evidence that you know enough about the subject to warrant others having confidence in you. What further establishes your credibility is a combination of your experience and your track record in the particular area, and most importantly how widely these attributes are known, acknowledged and accepted.
Often when people in organisations think about influencing, they are concerned it is manipulation. But it’s not manipulation when it is a learning and negotiating process to lead your colleagues to a shared solution to a problem. (Exerting Influence Without Authority)
But sometimes interpersonal influence is not enough. That’s where influencing for organisational impact comes in. This kind of influence, often known as working the corporate politics, draws on appropriate awareness of and use of sources of power. Organisations can be complex mazes with many turns, dead ends, quick routes and choices and the best path to get somewhere is almost never a straight line. The key to making organisational impact is to view corporate politics as a necessary part of organisational life and find your way through the maze in the least time making the lease amount of noise.
Tips from role models:
1. Build and use your power base
2. Frame goals for win-win – give and take
3. Build critical mass and critical energy around the issue – socialise, rework, resocialise
4. Self-Management – be patient and don’t take resistance personally.
We, at Viventé, have broad experience in coaching our clients to become highly successful influencers who are comfortable and confident doing it.
Contact Us For Persuasion and Influencer Training
Visit Vivente’s corporate headquarters at Level 33, Australia Square – 264 George Street; Sydney, NSW 2000 AUSTRALIA or Telephone us at +61-2-8211 2771.
Vivente is developing leaders of tomorrow!