“Leadership is influence – nothing more, nothing less” ― John C. Maxwell
This is one of my favorite quotes from John Maxwell. Everything we’re trying to accomplish in our businesses relates to Influence. You might want to influence a Team Member to excel in a certain area, you might want to influence a key Prospect to do business with you, or you may want to influence your team as a whole to buy into your vision of the future of your business. You can increase your chances of success in any of these situations by following a simple process of preparing for the conversation. With a small amount of preparation, you’ll be much more likely to get the outcome you desire. For example, just taking the time to get crystal clear on your desired outcome for the conversation is a great first step. Keep reading to learn more about how you can prepare for a powerful 1on1 influence conversation following this simple 6 step process.
Why Influence Is Important & How It Can Help
- You have a complaint about something or someone and they aren’t doing anything about it.
- You feel you have the opportunity to have more impact in your company.
- You have received feedback that you have an opportunity or responsibility to be more assertive and influential.
- You are frustrated because it is hard to get things done well – or done at all.
- You simply want to learn to be more influential.
- Influence isn’t limited to your workplace. It’s important to your personal life as well.
Follow the Process – One-On-One Influence
1. SET A CLEAR GOAL
Specific, measurable, time-bound, and achievable in a single meeting
Fuzzy example: “I want you more engaged”
Specific: “Starting tomorrow, I want you to come on time, leave no earlier than 6 pm, and get me all of your assignments on time with no more errors in them.”
What do you want the person to do, say, think, or feel differently? Be sure that your goal is specific, measurable, and something that can be achieved in one meeting.
2. UNDERSTAND THE SITUATION AND THE OTHER PERSON
What is your ultimate high-level goal: intellectual agreement, compliance, commitment, or enthusiasm?
What are the reasons that will matter to them?
What is in your control that you can offer or take away (time, support, credit, money, access, training, mentoring, control, autonomy, advancement)?
What do you share in common?
What vision will get them excited?
3. CHOOSE AN APPROACH
Left brain to get intellectual understanding by using reasons that matter to them
Gut to get compliance by giving feedback and/or negotiating an agreement
Heart to get their commitment
Combination of right brain, spirit, and vision to get them inspired and enthused
4. GET SPECIFIC
What is your opening?
What objections will they raise?
How will you address their objections?
How do you know when you have achieved your goal?
Where and when do we have the meeting?
What might go wrong?
What will they say to you that could upset you? How will you be ready to react calmly?
What should you not say to them?
What is the strategy to excuse yourself and then reconvene if something goes wrong?
If it’s a stressful situation, vent for 2 minutes uncensored – get it out now and release the urge to do it in the meeting.
Spend time on a crisp opening in your own style – don’t think about how someone else would do it.
Pay attention to “rambling”. You lose impact if you are not focused and clear.
Switch approaches to play with it.
Record your practice and learn from what you heard.
Debrief – have a discussion on what worked and what didn’t. What will you do differently next time?
Scott Miller has been in the restoration industry since 2005 and focuses on helping owners grow revenue, improve profitability, manage cash-flow and develop a culture of accountability with their teams. He is a certified coach with Best Year Yet and The Center for Executive Coaching.
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