Be an Influencer

Posted May 11, 2009 in Communication, Latest News & Insights

At last week’s PowerRoundtable event (in partnership with Leadership Insight) on Leading Through Influence, our panel of executives (Bob Canuel, Hallmark Canada; Elisabeth Ross, Ovarian Cancer Canada; Nadine Gilchrist, BMO)  shared some of their top ideas on how to influence and persuade your way to the top (or to the top of the agenda…whichever is your ambition).  Here are the top tips from Leadership Insight’s PowerRecap:

1) Think about “what’s in it for them?”….Know your audience well and position your message and idea with their perspective in mind.

2) Know your facts… Be prepared to answer the tough questions.  Do your homework and prepare for objections and hurdles in advance. 

3) Bring people along…  Don’t overwhelm your audience – know what your hook is and key message.  Build support in stages.

4) Plant your champions… Find early adopters to your ideas.  Secure their support early on and enlist them to help you build momentum.

5) Build relationships… Relationships are fundamental to a leader’s ability to influence others.  Invest in building relationships with those you work with; understand their individual motivators and passions.  Look for ways to connect.

6) Be open to others views… Encourage debate and discussion to broaden your perspective on the issue at hand so that you can better understand counter viewpoints.

7) Adapt your style… Understand the preferences of the person you are trying to convince.  Adjust your personal style and messages and “speak their language” in order to be better heard.

8) Be true to yourself and your convictions… Know yourself and what ideals/values you are not willing to compromise.  Be clear about which hills are worth dying on and which you should let go.

And, if all else fails, in the words of Harry S. Truman… if you can’t convince them, confuse them.

Happy leading!


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