7 Tips to Develop your Influencing Skills

Declan Mulkeen

24 May 2016

Survey after survey highlight the importance of influencing and negotiating skills for achieving promotion and career progression. Influencing is much more than that. The ability to influence is a crucial skill in so many aspects of the modern working life – whether you are working in cross-functional teams, managing external supplier relationships or networking with potential new clients. Here are seven tips to help you to develop your influencing skills.

How to Develop your Influencing Skills: Let’s Start with the Basics

We often have to persuade and influence those over whom we have no real authority. The question is how to do this in an effective and subtle way?

A subtle, empathetic approach is recommended rather than a more direct or forceful style

Influencing Requires Empathy

Give the other party the impression that you have met them half way or further

A subtle, empathetic approach is recommended rather than a more direct or forceful style.

If you can give the other party the impression that you have met them half way or further, that they have bought into or even come up with the idea themselves you will get real support and longer lasting results.

Successful influencing is about making a connection and appealing to the heart as well as the head. It is about identifying personal triggers and adapting your style to others’ to get the best results from the people you are trying to influence.

7 Tips To Develop your Influencing Skills 

A combination of communication and interpersonal skills will help you to get the results you need. Below are some practical hints to help develop your powers of influencing whether you need a decision from your boss, an “awkward” peer to help you or a client to accept your new prices.

1. Create rapport

Create rapport with the person you are trying to influence – it may sound like common sense but if they like and trust you there is a greater possibility that you will be able to persuade them

2. Listen

Listen and show you are listening. If someone feels valued they are more likely to be persuaded to your point of view

3. Ask the right questions

Use questioning techniques to lead people towards the answers you want

The art of influencing doesn’t come naturally

4. Be Aware of Body Language

Mirror the other person’s body language to create better rapport

5. Sell the Benefits

Sell the benefits of your argument to the other person and try to see your position from their perspective

6. Be relaxed

A relaxed and natural demeanour is more likely to achieve a successful outcome rather than an emotional or demanding approach. Demonstrating a natural confidence will help to persuade others that your ideas are good

7. Invest your Time

Influencing isn’t a quick fix. It can take time to develop empathy and awareness but you are more likely to get what you want if you play a long game

The art of influencing doesn’t come naturally to everyone. There are many sources of help for you to develop your influencing skills. Check out some great online resources and videos, LinkedIn groups and, of course, training is always an option to help you hone and develop your influencing skills.



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