Do you need other people to be on-board to achieve your goals?

Usually the answer is yes unless you’re an independent narcissist.

Influencing is a way to resolve conflict, solve problems, reach joint decision and get results with other people without needing direct authority. It is not about getting other people to agree with you or do what you want. It’s best to think of influencing as a way of finding a win-win decision for yourself and those with whom you’re involved.

Here are some ideas of how to approach influencing:

1. It starts with focusing on yourself (seems paradoxical if you’re trying to influence another).

a. What are your objectives around the topic? What are the issues and benefits?

b. What would you like to happen around this topic? What does success or at least good look like?

c. What have you done so far?

2. Now it’s time to think of the other people:

a. Who else is involved? Who are the stakeholders? Who do you need to influence?

b. Get into their shoes: What’s important to them about this topic? How do they see it? What are the pros and cons for them?

c. What are your relationships with those people?

3. Develop your plan to influence:

a. How will you learn from the other person what their perspective is on the topic?

b. How will you acknowledge you understand their position?

c. How will you establish credibility?

d. How will you frame your goal to establish common ground?

e. How will you provide evidence, rationale and express it vividly?

f. How will you connect emotionally with the person?

g. Consider how you will use the skills of influencing which are:

i. Building rapport unique to the individual

ii. Questioning to learn and understand

iii. Getting the other to talk about their needs

iv. Listening

v. Handling objections without dismissing

vi. Giving the right amount of info – not too little, not too much

4. Start the process of influencing – consider it a journey rather than a destination.

What topic needs your influence?