“Influence” seems to be quite a hot topic lately. We have received numerous requests from clients to provide information on the broad topic of “Influence without Authority”. While researching the material out there, I discovered that there are 5 logical and relatively easy steps. If you are intentional about it and follow these steps you may find that you have a lot more success in influencing decisions and selling ideas!
1. Know your message. Be clear about what you want to say, and why you want to say it.
2. Know your audience. What is their style? What is their relationship to you?
3. Know what your audience wants. This factor is often overlooked- just because you have a strong argument, or you are right, doesn’t mean that your idea will automatically “sell”. Pay attention to “What’s in it for them?”
4. Tailor your message for maximum impact. As a minimum, compose a compelling “elevator speech” about your idea or opinion. You may decide that you can be more compelling with a presentation, or a letter writing campaign, or a series of emails, or phone calls.
5. Manuever your message. This is another often overlooked factor in being influential- know who you should tell about your idea, product, or desired decision in what order. Some people are influencers, some people may have a special relationship with the person you are trying to influence, someone may have more credibility than you in a certain area.
Take the time to incorporate these factors into an “Influence Plan”, and you may find yourself on the cover of Time Magazines’ 100 Most Influential People issue someday!
For further reading, here are some standout books on Influence:
2. Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die (Hardcover)
by Chip Heath (Author), Dan Heath (Author)
3. The 48 Laws of Power (Paperback)
by Robert Greene (Author)
4. Exercising Influence: A Guide For Making Things Happen at Work, at Home, and in Your Community (Paperback)
by B. Kim Barnes (Author)
6. The Back of the Napkin: Solving Problems and Selling Ideas with Pictures (Hardcover)
by Dan Roam (Author)
Life has been great these last few weeks in relation to sitting in on some fantastic presentations. I just got off a FREE webinar from Linkage (it crashed halfway through – gave me time to grab a quick sandwich) from Patrick Lencioni discussing how to Lead your teams in Challenging Times….a solid hour of Dysfunctional Team stuff. I also attended a half-day presentation through the Workforce Alliance @ Palm Beach County – which links businesses in need of qualified employees with individuals seeking employment opportunities. The featured speaker was Daniel H. Pink, author of ‘A Whole New Mind’, a book about how the forces of “Abundance, Asia and Automation” are putting a premium on “right brain” qualities and abilities that have often been overlooked and undervalued by employers in the search for talent. That was only $45 including a great breakfast! A couple of great deals to hear a few industry experts tell it in their own words.
Dan Pink covered some interesting points from his book that truly made me ‘think’ – right brain focused of course! (which he says will rule the future)
His discussion around Abundance, Asia and Automation affecting the workplace was interesting at the least. He conceptualizes this by looking at what people are doing to earn a living and ask themselves 3 questions:
1. Can someone overseas do it cheaper?
2. Can a computer do it faster?
3. Is what I’m offering in demand in the age of abundance?
Survival depends on the correct answer to these simple questions. Yes, Yes and No and you are in a deep of hurt.
He touches on six senses that can help develop the whole new mind that he concedes this new era demands:
1. Design – it is not longer sufficient to create something that is functional, it must be cool
2. Story – one can’t just have the information anymore to argue a point, persuasion and communication can work to defend your view
3. Symphony – going from a single focus to seeing the ‘big picture’
4. Empathy – logic will be outdone by emotional intelligence
5. Play – too much work makes Jack a dull boy
6. Meaning – with the freedom from struggle, it is now easier to pursue what life really means
Overall, the message was that routine work is disappearing. It is going to be the ‘right brainers’ (the creative, innovative types) not the ‘left brainers’ (engineers, accountants) that will rule the world. What you need to do to be successful in the future is to ‘Give people something they don’t know they are missing’. Did you miss your iPod when you didn’t have it? I sure didn’t – he may be on to something.
It has been a busy summer and I took a short break from blogging but I am back and having withdrawals from tapping the keyboard for some new entries.
Driving by the AT&T store a few weeks ago, I saw the long line of diehards outside stringing around the Starbucks and knew the ‘cheaper’ iPhones must be on sale. New options, faster downloads, 3G technology – so hyped that you’d think it would help beam you to the moon. Check out this video for the ‘truth’ on that marketing ploy:
I have come to a conclusion that there are two kinds of Gadget people in the world…the ‘Have to Have it the day it is out’ folks and the ‘I can wait until the rush is over or the 2nd or 3rd generation is released’. The whole thought of popping a tent and sleeping on concrete for 2 days for a new phone, MP3 player or video game makes me start to question the real priorities in this world. I’ve never done the 5am stampede the day after Thanksgiving for a $100 off a plasma TV, so waiting in line for something that might be available next week – with no wait – seems like a simple choice. So what is it? What drives these mercenaries to have to be the very first to purchase the gadget? Is it competition, the ‘score’, the bragging rights? I’m just not sure what drives people to participate in this phenomenon that occurs every few months around the globe for a hot new gizmo. Maybe I’m missing the boat on a ‘rush’ that you can only get from purchasing one of these products on the day it comes out. Are we envious of these beta testers or irritated by them? We each have our own vices and this may just simply be that. Maybe I’ll give it a try one day, be a risk-taker, adventurous, stay up all night like the college days….nah…I’ll pick it up next month on my lunch break when the 4th shipment arrives.
If you travel a lot, here is a fun site with some unique gadgets you ‘gotta have’!