The modern workplace is changing, and holding a senior position within an organisation no longer automatically means that you can influence your team members. You may often have to convince both bosses and colleagues of the merits of your strategy or idea.
This means that you need a range of influencing tactics, to ensure that you are comfortable influencing different people at different times and in different situations.
You can use more than one way to convince your colleagues of your plan’s strengths. You can use both logic and emotion; demonstrate both the positive aspects of the plan and the negative aspects of the alternatives.
There are four strategies you can consider:
1. Investigators draw on facts and figures to support a logical and methodical approach. To become adept at this style of influencing, it is important to feel comfortable handling data, finding information that supports your strategy, and then using it to form a convincing argument.
Information gathering is the first step. Effective influencers of this type collect two main types of information: background data, which informs their view of the world, and task-related data, that is for a specific purpose. Be sure to chunk your information before delivering, to avoid audience stops listening. And be sure also to avoid information overload!
2. Calculators tend to use logic to influence and will likely be good debaters.
This style depends on giving time and effort to in-depth analysis and the creation of a well-structured argument. Skills associated with this approach include: the ability to weigh options, the capacity to provide feedback, and an understanding of when to offer concessions.
Stick to the facts so that you keep your credibility, but remember to contrast your proposal’s benefits with the risks of inaction in a way that your listeners can relate to.
3. Motivators use emotions and the “big picture” to communicate compelling visions of the future. While some people seem to be natural motivators, there are some simple lessons that can teach any of us to influence through motivation.
You can add structure to your enthusiasm, and maximise the impact of any presentation you have to give. You may would like to use the Monroe’s Motivated Sequence. In five steps you will gain your audience’s attention, and leave team members with specific actions that they can take afterwards.
You might think that you lack the natural charisma to be a Motivator, but the good news is that this trait can be developed. You can learn to be more engaging, likeable and inspiring. Concentrate on your body language, help others to feel good, and show empathy, assertiveness and confidence.
4. Collaborators use motivation too, but they persuade people by involving them in the decision.
Collaborators are great team builders. They engage people’s hearts and minds. This helps people to own the process of change for themselves. In these circumstances, your role is to be a facilitator rather than trying to convince team members logically.
To be a collaborator, you likely need: the ability to share power, the capacity to listen actively, and the willingness to communicate openly.
And you, which one of these influencing strategies are you most and least comfortable with?