Mastering Influence: A Strategic Guide to Aligning Stakeholders

Mastering Influence: A Strategic Guide to Aligning Stakeholders


If influencing is a skill, then how do you practice it?


Employ the 5W Framework


What – Present your perspective clearly. Back it up with solid data and facts to strengthen your case.

So What – Explain why your viewpoint matters. Highlight the impact and the stakes for the other person.

Ask What – Engage in the conversation. Use open-ended questions to gather more information. Listen actively and show empathy by paraphrasing what the other person says.

Modify What – Reflect on the discussion. Combine the ideas shared by both parties and evolve your viewpoint with logical reasoning.

Now What – Conclude with a summary. Establish clear next steps, assign responsibilities, and set timelines.



Additional Tips to Enhance Your Influence


  1. Structure Your Conversation
    • Begin casually to create a comfortable environment.
    • Clearly state your conversation’s purpose and invite the other person to share their agenda. This helps in setting mutual expectations.
  2. Mind Your Style
    • Speak clearly and at a steady pace to ensure understanding.
    • Avoid filler words to project confidence and maintain control of the dialogue.
    • Practice active listening without interruptions, making the other person feel valued.



Remember, your goal is to build trust, not fear.


  • Avoid blaming.
  • Listen with an open mind.
  • Welcome feedback.
  • Offer your support.



A Real-Life Scenario: Doubting Dexter vs. Reassuring Ria


Imagine Dexter, who thinks authority is enough to command respect, and Ria, who knows the real power of influence.




Doubting Dexter: “Just make them listen! You’re the boss, they have to!”

Reassuring Ria: “Being a boss isn’t enough. True influence comes from impacting thoughts and actions.”


Doubting Dexter: “No way! Just tell them what to do. Your ideas make sense!”

Reassuring Ria: “It’s not that simple. It’s about asking the right questions and understanding others.”


Doubting Dexter: “Why bother? Just give orders!”

Reassuring Ria: “Influence is about value. Show how your ideas benefit everyone, not just dictate them.”



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