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Bryan Edwards

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Influencing- it’s all in the preparation


We have been working with a national organisation developing staff's influencing skills. Demands on their services are set to increase significantly in this decade to over 1 million service users. This places significant demands on the organisation and their ability to provide a first class service.

Influencing has been identified by the charity’s leadership team as a core individual skill to help them facilitate the increased demand. Staff and managers need to maximise the way they work together, internally and externally with outside partners, to develop co-operative and productive relationships.

Influencing takes considered preparation. Consider these 10 steps:

1. What do you want to achieve?

2. What is the range of things the Influencee could offer?

3. What would you be prepared to accept? (In other words what is your fall-back position)

4. What are the facts and figures behind the situation you are trying to influence:

  • When did it happen?
  • How many times?
  • Over what period of time?
  • What is the effect on the department/individual/organisation?
  • What evidence can you provide?

5. Who are you influencing in terms of personality and style of working? What approaches may help influence them? Thinking about the Influencee in this way can help us plan our communication style during the meeting. For example:

  • Are they statistics orientated?
  • Like examples painted for them?
  • Are they visionaries where you describe what it would be like if they agree to your proposals?
  • Do they respond best to information placed in graphs/pie charts?
  • Do they prefer flowcharts and diagrams?
  • What values are important to them?
  • What sense of humour do they have?
  • What pressures and challenges are they faced with at this time?

6. How will you approach the conversation? What will tune them in? What words will you use? What tactics will you use?

7. What objections may they come up with?

8. How will you overcome these objections?

9. When is the best time to tackle them?

10. Where will you tackle them? (It can be advantageous to get the Influencee away from interruptions at their desk)

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Bryan Edwards - off shelf training materials

Read more from Bryan Edwards

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