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How do you grow positive influencer skills?

Written by Alistair Gordon And Dominic Johnson, 18 May 2021

As an Expert you are probably rationally inclined and likely to use what we call “rational persuasion”. This is purely facts, sound reasoning, tight logic, and so on. Such a methodology doesn’t take into account emotional feelings and the fact that logic and reasoning aren’t the only factors driving people’s decision-making.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • What are some recent situations where we’d have liked to have increased influence? What got in the way of us influencing successfully? What influencing tactics did we use?

  • What alternative influencing tactics could we have used?

  • Did we properly explore how our colleague was feeling as well as thinking?

  • Did we properly explore the impact our proposal or suggested approach might have on our stakeholders? Did we consider their reality as well as our own?

  • Did we properly listen to their suggestions or reasons for wanting to approach the problem differently? Or did we simply imagine we were right and they were wrong?

  • If we were faced with the same situation again, how might we tackle it differently?

  • Define the outcomes that would naturally result from you developing increased influence.

Try to think about what method of influence you’ve historically used that hasn’t proven successful and identify alternative tactics you could experiment with.

Did you find this tip helpful? You can find many more in our book Master Expert: How to use Expertship to achieve peak performance, seniority and influence in a technical role.

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