Influencing and Personal Impact – Think it Through
Q. Why do you engage the engine gently when you’re driving your car?
A. You know that crashing through the gears will cause costly, perhaps irreparable damage to both them and the engine.
And so it is in influencing situations. You need to give a little thought to the process before you commence.
Engage your mind and thought processes – think it through – and you will increase your influencing capacity many times over.
Nowadays the role of the leader is far more cross functional and inter departmental than ever before. People find themselves working on cross functional project teams, leading and managing outside of their own functional hierarchy.
It is essential, therefore, that you develop high levels of influencing skills in order to be successful. By thinking your way through the influencing situation you begin to explore many possibilities.
Consider the key sponsors and stake holders; where might you hit barriers and also, perhaps, why might those barriers have been erected?
Who are the key players, what would be the correct buttons to push, and levers to pull with each one? How would they respond if you did A, B or C?
Which ones would be your key supporters and could be used as advocates, and which could be considered targets?
Thinking it through will help you create your influencing strategies, ideas which will determine how you approach meetings and presentations, what your feedback loop might be like and what level of information each sponsor may require.
Remember they will all be slightly different, which increases the challenge and makes it all the more interesting!