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Developing Your Influencing Skills
5 blue stars

Deborah Dalley and Lois Burton

ISBN 9781849370226
RRP   UK £12.99   US $18.99  
pdf ebook RRP $14.99  Only $12.99 (US)


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Details about the book Developing your Influencing Skills

Developing Your Influencing Skills

The 7 Traits of Influential People

Does becoming more influential mean becoming an expert in manipulating situations to get what you want?  This is a question that we have found creates tension for many people.  You may be clear about wanting to be able to influence the outcome of a situation however you do not want to leave the other person feeling as though they have been manipulated.  This is a particular issue for many people because they are trying to influence across an organization without always having the hierarchical authority to tell others what to do.

Some of the influencing tactics and techniques that we have seen taught on training courses can appear to be effective in the short term,  however they often carry inherent risks.  It is unlikely that these slightly manipulative tactics will work in a sustainable way.  In organizational life we tend to be trying to persuade or negotiate with the same people over and over again.  If someone feels as though they have been ‘out maneuvered’, coerced or tricked in the past the trust in that relationship will diminish.  This will inevitably lead to a weaker influencing position next time round.

We have been looking at the difference between influencing tactics and becoming truly influential – one is a set of tools and techniques and the other is a set of traits that can be developed.  We have identified 7 traits that are shared by influential people:

  • Knowing what you want and believing that you can get it  – it is definitely work that starts on the inside.  Being clear about our sense of purpose and goals is the first step.
  • Credibility – this is something that other people perceive about us.  It is the quality, capability or power to elicit belief.  Our credibility with someone comes from three things – the relationship we have with them, how they perceive our expertise and what has happened in the past.
  • Being Trustworthy – this is a fundamental element of influence.   The most influential people are those who operate from values such as truth, trust and integrity and use those values with the intent to benefit not just themselves but the people around them as well.
  • Empathy – it is important to remember that we will never influence someone from our point of view.  The ability to step out of the first perceptual position and explore someone else’s view of the world is essential .
  • Strong Communication Capability – however self aware, genuine and honest we are the ability to get others to follow comes from our capacity to communicate effectively.  Highly influential people are usually articulate, willing and able to listen and able to present their ideas with clarity and conviction.
  • Inspirational – enthusiasm is infectious.  We have all experienced how contagious negative emotion can be and it is equally true of positive energy.  Inspiring others involves motivating and capturing their imagination.  Martin Luther King used powerful imagery in his famous ‘I have a dream’ speech – the picture he painted and the feelings it evoked did far more to capture the imagination and influence others than a factual account would have done.
  • Open-mindedness  – flexibility and a willingness to be influenced are also traits that are evident in most influential people.

So becoming more influential is not something that can be developed in a day, it is more a way of life.


Deborah Dalley and Lois Burton

About the book Increasing Your Influence


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