• Nick Myles

How to Become a Better Influencer

In the words of Mick Jagger; “You can’t always get what you want … but if you try sometimes you might just find, you get what you need (yeah, ahhhhhhhh baby)”

Stirring stuff Mick. It’s not selfish to know what you want to accomplish. ​However, in order to put those intentions into actions requires skill, consideration and practice. Our advice?

Rehearse, Rehearse, Rehearse.

The value of rehearsing complex influencing situations cannot be over-emphasised (even by repeating the word rehearse 3 times in big letters). In our Open Courses delegates do just that; acquire key skills by understanding them first and then applying them in a safe, risk free training environment. But if you can’t make our Open Course in Influencing and Inspiring here’s a fail safe way to become a better influencer by rehearsing your skills.

1. Note your objectives

Is it to win over a stubborn decision maker? Do you want long term or short term commitment? Do you want to motivate? Your objective will affect the sort of style you exert as an influencer. (For more details on influencing styles read our blog: The Roles We Play As Influencers)

2. Find a suitable partner to role play with

Think carefully about who you might pick to help you here. You want someone who is a trustworthy and knowledgeable about your subject but not someone who will be heavily involved in the outcome of your real life actions at work. Our actor facilitators not only observe your behaviours and actions but are in a unique position to offer impartial practical advice.

3. Where possible, use the location where you'll hold the actual conversation

If you find yourself at the kitchen counter with a cup of tea talking to the cat to practice your persuasiveness, that big meeting on Monday is going to come as a shock. But if you can’t get to your intended location it’s worth considering things like; Am I likely to be sitting or standing? Will I have a pen, laptop, emails at my disposal? Will it be a public or private space?

4. Brief your partner thoroughly

What decision do you want to convince people of? Who is your audience? Is your audience in a more senior position to you, are they logical or emotional, have they typically responded to your previous requests in a certain way before? The type of person/people you are trying to influence will respond to different types of tactics (For more details on influencing styles and tactics read our blog: The Roles we play as Influencers)

5. Practise one run through

Try not to stop/start or backtrack too much. It’s tempting to feel slightly ridiculous but focus on your objective and try to mentally highlight points for discussion after the run through.

6. Discuss the outcome and agree changes

Often someone’s feedback about the way we act can be at odds with our own perception. Try to take criticisms and advice on where possible - this is an active solution finding exercise so testing out approaches is the name of the game!

7.Repeat if necessary; Do a run through. Discuss the outcome. Refine

Keep reminding yourself of your objective. Take notes on what worked and what didn’t. Practice makes perfect.

8. Go into the actual scenario with a plan, an objective and confidence!

If you’d like to learn more about Influencing and Inspiring and practice these skills in a safe training environment, Different Duck hold regular one day Open Courses . For more information click here

For more information on our drama based approach to communication and leadership training, visit our website www.differentduck.co.uk or drop us an email on info@differentduck.co.uk

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