3 Ways to Influence Others Effectively

To influence can be seen as having the capacity to have an impact on the character, development, or behaviour of someone.
Genuine commitment from other people is often required for you to accomplish your key goals and KPI’s. Moreover, this is a skill that is needed to thrive within corporate South Africa.

Everyone is different and unique, but there are ways to influence everyone. You either need to use the head, the heart, or the hands. People are either logical, emotional, or cooperative and using their preferred preference, is a great way to influence them.

Influence is about presenting your point of view in a logical and compelling way, that encourages healthy debate and ultimately cooperation towards a common goal. For instance, in senior-level or executive roles, influence is focused on steering long-range objectives, inspiration, and motivation.

At Change Partners, we’ve found that people fall into one of 3 categories: logical, emotional, or cooperative appeals.

Logical influencing

These are people who are more focused on rational and intellectual debates. The best way to present your argument is with data and facts. For instance, if you want an employee to work late on a Friday afternoon, the best approach is to explain the organizational and personal benefits, while appealing to person desire for rational decision making.

Emotional influencing

These are people who prefer to connect your message, goal, or project to individual goals and values. The best way to present your argument is with emotions and stories. For instance, if you want an employee to work late on a Friday afternoon, the best approach is to remind them of the vision of the organisation and how their personal goals are being reached with this project. You can always motivate this type of person with praise and gratitude, as they thrive off emotional reassurance.

Cooperative influencing

These are people who appreciate team work and collaboration. They are constantly asking the questions:

  1. What can/will we do together?
  2. What ideas do other people have?
  3. Who already supports you?

Focusing on team work and team vision is incredibly important to them.
So, the best way to present your argument is to showcase how the team will benefit and how the organisation as a whole will improve.

How to pick the right approach?

Firstly, assess the situation. What outcomes are you trying to achieve by influencing this person? Be clear about whom you need to influence and what you want to accomplish.

Secondly, know your audience. Are they logical, emotional or cooperative? Depending on their preferred approach, tailor your messaging to best meet their needs.

Thirdly, know yourself. To influence others, you need to be genuine. For example, if you are emotional and you are trying to influence a logical person, make sure that you meet their needs while still staying true to yourself.

Fourthly, be strategic. Ask yourself, what tactics do you use most often? Which seem to be most effective? What new tactics could you try in this situation? Keep adapting until you find a strategic approach that works best.

To sum up, influencing others is a critical skill and one that requires constant rework. Remember, each person is different and unique. Therefore we need to assess the situation, know our audience and ourselves and strategically use the head, heart or hands approach to influencing others.

Talk to us to find out how we can assist your leadership team to effectively use influence in your organization.

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