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Bryan Edwards

ABC Training Solutions - off shelf training materials

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Influencing others – it’s all in the preparation


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

Influencing skills has been identified by the charity's leadership team as a core skill to help staff facilitate the increased demand by developing cooperative, productive relationships. Influencing takes considered preparation - I call it the 10 steps. By considering such steps it can help plan out what we will say and how we will say it during the influencing meeting to get the best possible outcome: 

1. What do you want to achieve?

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

3. What would you prepared to accept? In other words, your fall-back position.

4. What are the facts behind the situation:

  • 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? For example:

  • Are they statistics orientated?
  • Like examples painted for them?
  • Are they visionaries where you need to 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 wil you apporach 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 influence them?

10. Where will you influence them? (It can be advantageous to offer a coffee away from their busy workstation)

That's my starter for 10. What do you think?

Bryan Edwards runs ABC Training Solutions (, a West Midlands training consultancy delivering interpersonal and managerial courses and designing/ marketing a wide range of training materials.

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Bryan Edwards - off shelf training materials

Read more from Bryan Edwards

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