It’s all about INFLUENCE.
Influence is the real secret to leadership, and yet one of the most misunderstood skills and success factors. In fact, leadership is not about titles, positions, status. It is about influencing others to accelerate our career, performance, personal brand, sales, business. It’s what sets successful leaders apart from the rest.
To build success, there is no other way around. John Maxwell said: “The higher you want to climb, the more you need leadership. The greater the impact you want to make, the greater your influence needs to be.”
It sounds easy but it’s not. Never been harder than now. Without clarity, proper plan and right approach, it’s difficult to access and influence key people. Not just that. There are too many distractions, people are overwhelmed, overloaded of information, burned out. They struggle to dedicate quality time to others. They have other priorities and increased pressure to get results. This leads inevitably to short attention span.
Here’s the thing:
If you don’t have the ability to influence people in any situation, there is a limitation of success you can achieve. There is a plateau. To go to the next level, you need to step up your game and follow a specific process and steps to generate terrific results. Here 4 lessons for you that I learned in working with and for successful individuals.
Who is on your side?
Either you want to influence people within or outside their organisation, you should have a very strategic approach. Successful people know well first who they need to influence and why. The end goal is to get the idea, project, request approved.
Real influencers don’t initiate any high-stake conversation with their targets without proper preparation. First, they work hard to get to know them as well as possible.
Besides that, they excel in assessing their current power in relation to the idea they want to get accepted. Who are the key stakeholders involved with that? How is their relationship with them? How to leverage people already on their side? What about the others?
Without clarity on that, there is no way to move things forward.
What’s for them?
Influential people know how critical is to understand others, their priorities, goals, challenges, agenda. Before entering in any important conversation, they know what’s the best way to introduce the idea, what levers to use, what angles to take.
The great thing of these leaders is they are genuine in doing this. They’re genuinely interested to help others; they make them feel important, they find a way to make them succeed while they get their idea accepted.
To do so, they consider all reasons, incentives, motivations and factors that can influence the other person in this situation. They understand this is necessary to build trust as well.
Dale Carnegie said: “The average person is more interested in her own name than in all the other names on earth put together.”
One person at the time.
Influence works one person at a time. Successful people know this well. Once they map their stakeholders and understand how to bring the idea forward, they focus on the key people in their list. Just one at the time.
They have clear goals and outcome to achieve before planning the conversation. They also choose the right time to have that conversation. In other words, they pay attention to details. They don’t run into high-stake conversations until they feel ready and comfortable.
This prevents them to deal with unexpected situations.
No plan, no success.
Finally, they plan well the conversation ahead. They anticipate resistance and objections, they rehearse and prepare for the worst, they’re ready to walk away if the conversation gets too emotional or there is a risk to hurt the relationship.
Not surprisingly, they have great communication skills and they adapt their approach based on the people they want to influence. Sadly, most people still use/have only one approach irrespective who is on the other side.
In other words, they are in control. How great is that?
Influence requires a strategic mindset, discipline, planning, execution. It’s a process. Once you learn it, things get easier and your way to success accelerates exponentially.
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