9 Ways to Say No Without Saying No

Saying no is an often-overlooked influence technique. It is not simply saying no; it’s saying no and suggesting you or the other person/people involved do something differently. For example, someone asks you to give them a recap of a meeting they missed, but you don’t have time to do so. Rather than just saying no, you could use a leading question, saying, “I’d like to help, but I’m afraid I might accidentally leave out an important point. Did you know that the meeting’s minutes are available online in the meeting notes? Do you think it would be better to look there?” This type of technique has the dual benefits of saving you from having to spend time recapping the meeting and simultaneously redirects the person to a place where they can get the needed information. Using these types of “redirection techniques” can save you from: Feeling confrontational by saying no. [...]

By |2020-02-03T02:31:37+00:00February 24th, 2020|

5 Ways to Influence Others Using Multi-Step Communication

Multi-step communication consists of predefined processes crafted to create a specific response and/or outcome. This communication type is often used in conflict resolution, difficult conversations, change management, motivation, and other related activities. At their core, however, they are influence vehicles generic enough to be used in situations of all types.   Problem/Vision Statements Within a business setting, this technique is primarily used to gain approval and/or funding for a specific project. The “problem statement” defines the issue that must be solved, and the “vision statement” describes the desired end-state once the problem has been corrected. The format for each statement is shown below:   Problem statement: The problem is _____, resulting in ______, thereby causing ______. Vision statement: It would be great if _____, allowing us to ______, thereby having the effect of _________. For example, if the VP of sales wants funding to upgrade the company’s customer relationship management [...]

By |2020-02-03T02:38:07+00:00February 17th, 2020|

3 Key Barriers to Influencing Others in the Workplace

When someone creates a barrier that blocks your way, such as refusing to sign a needed document, not responding to an important email, or not attending a long-scheduled meeting, it’s natural to sit back and ask yourself one of the following questions: What am I doing wrong? Why doesn’t this person like me? What does this person have against me? People Are Not Against You; They Are for Themselves This is a key concept. It is important because it refocuses your attention to the other person, not yourself. If you understand why the other person believes what you are doing is not in their best interest, you can change your strategy or find another way to explain what you want to accomplish. For example, if you are trying to implement new sales management software, you can explain it to the salespeople in one of two ways: “This new sales management [...]

By |2020-01-30T19:18:07+00:00February 10th, 2020|

What is your Office Influence Power Rating?

Office influence is the ability to move a person's thinking, actions, and/or decisions in a way that forwards your business objectives. As a result, it’s the tip of the spear in all workplace interpersonal communication activities, including negotiation, change, sales, leadership, conflict resolution and more. Negotiation is a highly interactive two-way type of influence. Sales are influencing customers to buy your products and services. The list goes on and on... This type of influence provides different things to different people, based on their profession and organizational level.  For CEOs, it means obtaining the needed support from investors, the board of directors, strategic partners and key customers.  For those in the C-Suite, it means gelling as cohesive unit, while simultaneously jockeying for position, getting needed scarce resources, and meeting assigned organizational goals.  For those below the C-Suite, increased influence means enhanced productivity, increased effectiveness, and accelerated upward mobility. Examples from a [...]

By |2020-03-13T23:14:29+00:00January 30th, 2020|

5 Ways to Influence Others Using Multi-Step Communication

Multi-step communication consists of predefined processes crafted to create a specific response and/or outcome. This communication type is often used in conflict resolution, difficult conversations, change management, motivation, and other related activities. At their core, however, they are influence vehicles generic enough to be used in situations of all types. 1. Problem/Vision Statements Within a business setting, this technique is primarily used to gain approval and/or funding for a specific project. The “problem statement” defines the issue that must be solved, and the “vision statement” describes the desired end-state once the problem has been corrected. The format for each statement is shown below: Problem statement: The problem is _____, resulting in ______, thereby causing ______. Vision statement: It would be great if _____, allowing us to ______, thereby having the effect of _________. For example, if the VP of sales wants funding to upgrade the company’s customer relationship management (CRM) [...]

By |2020-06-24T20:32:28+00:00September 11th, 2019|

3 Key Types of Influential Communication

Sometimes it is not what you say—it is how you say it, when you say it, where you say it, and/or the process you use to say it. There are different techniques you can use in a seemingly ordinary conversation that dramatically enhance your ability to influence others. Your goal when experimenting with these techniques is to internalize them through practice, so using them does not seem calculated, disingenuous, or opportunistic. The beauty of these techniques, in addition to their general applicability as an influence-based tactic, is that they are easily incorporated into other types of interactions, such as negotiation, conflict resolution, and delegation. Part 3 of this book provides insights into specific methods of incorporating these techniques into other activities. While reading this chapter, you should consider the following questions: Which techniques do I like most and want to incorporate into my personal conversational repertoire? How do others use [...]

By |2020-06-24T20:34:26+00:00September 4th, 2019|

Push and Pull Influence

Push and pull influence refers to two opposing influence types: Push type influence: Urging or forcing a person or group to perform a task, rather than motivating them to comply or help. Pull type influence: Attempting to motivate a person or group to want to comply or perform the task at hand. At first glance, it may seem that push is bad and pull is good. However, they can both be good or bad depending on the tactics and desired outcome. Push Type Influence Push influence can take many forms. Some forms we all see and follow on a daily basis, some we choose to follow for our own wellbeing, and others we try to avoid because they attempt to force us where we do not want to go. Some push influences include legal requirements, expert authority, industry standards, societal norms, and regulatory mandates. All these pushes are to keep [...]

By |2020-06-24T20:36:24+00:00August 28th, 2019|

7 Key Influence Strategies

As a CEO, department manager, or individual contributor, the ability to influence your peers, vendors, clients, and others is key to both your organization and your professional reputation. When people think about influencing others, they often think about short-term tactics that are sales-like in approach and appearance. While these certainly are influence techniques, I would like you to widen your thinking and perspective on influence within the workplace and in general. Below are seven key influence strategies that can be used alone or in combination to achieve your desired outcome. 1. Strategic Influence Strategic influence is a long-term, holistic approach to building the influence you would like to wield in the future. This could be leadership in a business, technical, or social arena. It could also be quietly and efficiently building credibility, connections, skills, knowledge, and/or infrastructure for use in the future. Strategic influence may mean taking a leadership role [...]

By |2020-06-24T20:41:51+00:00August 21st, 2019|

Importance of Personal Connection in the Workplace

I have spent many years designing and teaching classes on various types of interpersonal communication, including: negotiation, change management, conflict, leadership, difficult conversations, motivation, requesting approval, delegation, and others. All of these interpersonal activities are enhanced by the same mechanism—trusting relationships with the individuals with whom you are interacting. You don’t have to be friends. Even though being friends may help, it is not required. Think about your personal experiences. Are you more easily influenced by someone you trust? Are you more likely to go home with a negotiated agreement if you believe the other party will hold up their end of the deal? As a manager, it is more comfortable and less stressful to delegate to someone you know will do their best to complete the task without attempting to undermine you in the process. This brings us to an interesting question: “How can we build trust in someone [...]

By |2020-06-24T20:43:38+00:00July 19th, 2019|

The ROI of Studying Influence

When I teach my class “Leading through Influence,” I always begin with the same exercise, shown in Figure 1. Its purpose is to help my students understand how much time they spend each day trying to influence people to complete the tasks they have already been asked to perform. You can do this for yourself using the worksheet at the end of this chapter. When the class completes this exercise, the time spent on influence-related activities is noted to be generally between 20 and 75 percent, depending upon job type. Sales professionals, project managers, relationship managers, administrative staff, and managers/executives of all types tend to be in the 50 to 75 percent range. On the lowest end at 5 to 25 percent are people in heads-down, transaction-oriented jobs, such as programmers, accounting staff, and those in operational or process type roles. The general correlation is: the more the role requires [...]

By |2020-06-24T20:48:09+00:00July 12th, 2019|
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