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Chapter 13. The reality > Influence (change)

Influence (change)

  • Head: Once the change has to be delivered, you will often have to make things happen without any formal power base. Your only tool might be your personal capability to influence other people and change how they think, feel or behave. Long-term sustainable change can only be delivered if people want to change. Before you can influence people to change how they think and behave, you must understand what matters to them. In understanding the other person's needs there is a greater chance that you will be able to effect a fair exchange to secure your goals. So you must see the world as they see it. If you can think as they do, then you will be able to help rather than coerce people to change.

  • Heart: The trap that many people fall into when trying to influence others is to feign an emotional state. You will often come across managers who have been on a sensitivity course and who believe that they can make things happen by "play listening" and saying "thank-you" to everyone they meet. The successful influencer is one who has authentic feelings and uses them to help make a point with other people.

  • Hands: The influencing process is centred on bartering. The parent influences the child to do his or her homework by offering to let them off the washing up; the manager convinces her team to do more work late by taking them out for a drink; and the presenter convinces the audience to stay and listen by the promise of a new piece of wisdom. To be effective, you must use appropriate behaviour for each situation. Effective influence is based on three simple steps: understand your schematic view of the world; understand their schematic view of the world; and find a way to bridge the gap through an exchange process. Only by finding this behavioural link with other people will you be able to influence and effect change.


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