Have you ever thought about how many instances there are in a day where you influence other people? The budget you need to get approval on, the client who is so close to signing on the dotted line, the colleague who can’t decide between pizza or salad for lunch. All of these are just a few examples of opportunities you have to influence – and those are just instances in the workplace! Your personal life is full of them, too. So when you come across these moments where you have the potential to influence another person, you want to be as successful as possible.
I recently had the chance to speak about Critical Influencing Skills for Advancing Professionals at the 2016 TAI User Group Meeting. The conference is primarily focused on educating TAI users on updates and advancements in their reinsurance software solutions. This year was an exciting one, where they announced the release of two new products: Connector and Insights. So you may be wondering where the discussion around influencing fits in? Well,
Having the ability to influence is an incredibly powerful tool, regardless of your industry or level of experience.
Having this discussion emphasized the importance of utilizing influencing skills and helped attendees identify where improvements can be made in their professional (and personal) lives. Which is why I’m sharing some advice with you, as I believe EVERYONE can benefit from being a stronger influencer.
Here are the highlights from my presentation at the 2016 TAI User Group Meeting.
PS – You can also flip through the slides below to get the full insight!
7 Tips for Becoming a Better Influencer
1. It’s not about being right
Hate to break it to you, but influencing someone is not about being right, it’s about presenting compelling arguments to win over your audience.
2. Create a team vision
When it comes to leading a team, paint a picture of the ideal state for your team and make sure they can envision it. It’ll be something both you and your team can refer back to when influencing them in the direction you want.
3. Give team members the time and attention they deserve
If your only communication with team members solely involves convincing them to do something, your relationship (and influencing skills) won’t go very far. Create time for other conversations and other areas of interest such as career growth or progress on current projects.
4. Build a personal relationship
If you are following tip #3 then you are on your way to building personal relationships, which is key to influencing. Get to know your peers on a personal level and create a give and take relationship. Doing things for other people makes it easier for them to say "yes" for one of your requests later on. This tip is all about reciprocity.
5. Avoid emailing
As I mentioned, influencing peers is all about personal relationships. And these are best built… in person! As hard as it is in the digital age, try to avoid emailing people in situations where you are trying to influence. Computer screens are easy to hide behind and emails are easier to say ‘no’ to.
6. Prove that what you want WILL help
Whoever you are trying to convince, show them that what you want WILL help them. This is particularly important when trying to influence up. Management and senior leadership want to know one thing and one thing only - how can you help them, the business, and the bottom line.
7. Know your audience
Finally, whether you are influencing a team, your peers or leadership, you need to know your audience inside and out. This includes everything from how they prefer to receive information, their decision making style AND, a very important one: how much time they have. Being aware of all this allows you to tailor your message and influence appropriately to achieve your desired outcome!
Now that I’ve provided you with the basics, you are ready to take action. Bring your influencing skills to the next level with insights from my eBook: Critical Influencing Skills for Advancing Professionals. Download it now.