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The Way I See It … Understanding the True Realities of Influencing

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Question Mark
Oakwood Learning condense over a decades worth of research to bring you their eleven principles of influencing.


The 11 Principles of Influencing
In our research, organisational managers, leaders and employees were asked this question:
‘From your experiences, how do people influence you?’
Over a 10 year period the answers from over 1200 people were collated to discover the trends.

Attending To Others
By far the single biggest influential behaviour, is the attending to others. People who do this, have the ability to genuinely pay attention to the other person and demonstrate that they are listening. It involves having a focus on their ideas, needs, feelings and thoughts, and putting others at the centre of your focus.

Support and Trust
People feel support by an influential person. This support takes many forms including demonstrating believe in someone, caring about the progress they are making, placing confidence in the other person, and encouraging them. Praise was seen as a positive form of recognition. Good influencers are appreciative of the efforts of others and genuinely offered thanks and praise to that person.

Impact and Presence
The levels of energy in influencers seemed to be figural in their impact as a presenter. There are two broadly different views on the type of energy. Some found an influencer who was energetic, dynamic and passionate, to be influential. Others found an influencer who was calm, relaxed, thoughtful, and reflective to be most impactful as an influencer.

It seems that congruence between what is said, how it is said and the physical non-verbal behaviour is a key to influencing.

Clarity
Effective influencers need to be able to portray their wants and ideas with conviction. Good Influencers are able to be assertive with their wants. They also have crystal clarity when outlining these. They are able to make the receiver understand the consequences of what they are suggesting. However, they are never aggressive. Influencers are focused on achievement, and are persistent in following their wants.

Logical Presentation
People feel influenced by information that was presented in an organised way that seemed logical and rational. When information was well prepared and included reasoning leading to conclusions, people are often persuaded. Overall influencers are seen as articulate communicators and eloquent in talking to others.

Transparency
Powerful influencers are transparent. Good influencers are open with knowledge, reasons for decisions and their thinking. They are seen as honest by others due to this. Being open is a key skill in sharing experiences, knowledge, and information. Influencers who are transparent in their dealings engender trust.

Being relational
The best influencers focus on the type of relationship they set up. Influencers are seen as personable. These influencers allow for humour in the relationship. They have a people orientation. They are polite. These influencers focus on finding commonality between themselves and others. They are experienced as non-judgemental by others in the relationship.

Future focus
Good influencers are able to explain and give direction in terms of a vision of the future. They are able to articulate this in a way which engages others. They are good at bridging the practicalities of the principle of logical presentation with a broader future direction. They are able to give reasons why they are going in a particular direction. They can use story, metaphor and analogy, which results in a greater understanding of the desired goal.

Confidence
People who display confidence have the ability to persuade others along with them without always having lots of rational arguments. Respondents mentioned confidence in two aspects. Firstly, confidence in themselves. They have the ability to do this without being seen as arrogant. Secondly, good influencers display confidence in others abilities.

Modelling
Our influence role models display the behaviours that they are asking of us or that we admire. Good influencers lead by example and demonstrate key behaviours.

Being positive
Powerful influencers have a positive outlook. They understand why something will work and be beneficial. If things do not go to plan, they are likely to notice a silver lining. They are seen as enthusiastic and optimistic by others, and are ‘focused on the solution’ not the problems.

For further information contact Oakwood Learning Limited on T: 01672 810699 or email [email protected] or visit www.oakwoodlearning.com

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