Mastering Influence: A Strategic Guide to Aligning Stakeholders

Mastering Influence: A Strategic Guide to Aligning Stakeholders

             

Doubting Dexter: Why can’t you just make them? Everyone must listen to you because you are in a position of influence!

Reassuring Ria: Formal hierarchy will only get you so far. Impacting opinions, ideas, and actions takes influence.

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Doubting Dexter:
No it doesn’t! All you need to do is tell them like it is! You know exactly what needs to be done. Your ideas are rational and logical. It makes sense that others must listen to you!

Reassuring Ria: No it doesn’t. Questions trump statements. It is important to listen to what others have to say. You need to understand other’s stance and even show them that they have been understood.

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Doubting Dexter:
Instead of listening to everybody, you can just give them a list of what to do and how to do it!

Reassuring Ria: You must create value through your conversations. Let them see how your idea will help them and the organization.

 

 

 

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

 

 

    Use the 5W framework to influence an outcome

 

  • What – State your point of view. Support it with data and facts.
  • So What – State implications of your point-of-view for the other person and what is at stake.
  • Ask What – Get information. Probe using narrow open-ended questions. Listen; paraphrase what the other person says.  Show empathy.
  • Modify What – Summarize what both parties have said so far. Modify/add to a stated point-of-view and support it with rationale.
  • Now What – Recap the entire conversation. State action items, with owners and dates.

 

 

What else do I need to remember?

 

 

Structure:

 

a. Start the conversation on an even keel. Use small talk to get comfortable.

b. State your agenda for the conversation and invite the agenda from the other person. This sets clear expectations around the expected outcomes of the conversation.

 

 

Style:

 

a. Speak at a measured pace and using crisp sentences to provide clarity.

b. Stay away from filler words like ‘um’ or ‘you know’. This helps you demonstrate confidence and puts you in control of the conversation.

c. Listen attentively without interrupting the other person. It makes the other person feel heard.

 

 

 

Remember to provide psychological safety?

 

      • Avoid blame to build trust
      • Listen Attentively

      • Be open to feedback
      • Offer support


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