Metaphors in business life are a great way of developing new ideas about what you can do to become more successful. If you are ambitious and working in a large organisation, consider for a moment the metaphor that gaining promotion to a senior post is akin to running for election. This would mean that you need to stand for something that the electorate identify with and believe it is an important issue affecting them. They would also need to feel confident that they can trust you and that you are the right person to get the job done. You would need to understand them well, have critical insights about the threats and opportunities your country faces, and keep a canny watch on the political moves of the opposition. Indeed, just like a politician, you would need to really stand out from the crowd with a compelling and inspirational manifesto. Read More
Incredible it may be, but the data is beginning to emerge that this could indeed be the case. The usual caveat about generalisations aside, this is what my recent research is starting to reveal. And, you don’t have to be a project manager to learn from these results. Based on a group of 195 project managers I have discovered, somewhat to my surprise, that they are more likely to be high in Tact and Diplomacy and low in Determination, than the general (professional) working population. To be honest, I had expected the opposite. These people all completed my Influence Profile that measures preferred behaviours when working with others. This is not looking at their actual behaviour, but rather the way they would most like to behave (which is reality is the default behaviour they use most of the time). Within this psychometric, four dimensions of behaviour are analysed and Read More
If you can attract the favourable attention of the people who matter most in your work, and your life, you have overcome one of the main challenges faced by many people I talk to these days. Most new clients joining the Breakthrough Influence coaching programme have getting noticed by the right people as a high priority. For those who are ambitious, this is normal. They have recognised that if they can get the support of their most senior stakeholders, their ideas will be able to start moving in the right direction. Doors will be opened, and then they can just walk on through and deliver something valued and appreciated by the top people. As with many things in the world of influence, a simple process, a determined approach and a certain amount of tenacity can do the trick. Here are seven vital steps you Read More
Colin has been specialising in power and influence in large and complex organisations for nearly 15 years. As a prolific author, presenter, coach and facilitator, many people are exposed to his work every day. Since 2003, Colin has published 6 books, contributed to may others and has written countless articles. His published content now exceeds 1,000,000 words and his video tutorials (available in Breakthrough Influence) amounts to over 50 hours. This page represents a selection of the endorsements that keep rolling in. Since we don't publicise individual clients, these have been disguised. In fact, many people are a little coy about letting others know they are working with Colin and the Gautrey Group!
What People are Saying, about Colin Gautrey
May 2017"Colin, Thank you for your excellent presentation on "How to Handle Project Politics." It is a topic of great interest to me as it is one of the toughest nuts to crack for me for several reasons. However, your presentation has kindled my desire to master politics so that I am more successful and less stressed out from project to project and from organization to organization. Keep up the excellent contributions to our vocation! Thank you!" MS, United States (Mastering the Politics). "I find your suggestions very practical and actionable. It is a must have for anyone who wish to make an impact both on a personal and professional level. It also serves a mechanism for self evaluation on what value is being added. I will definitely be using them soon on my new assignment. Thanks once again," OA, Manchester. "Part of my problem is that I get overly emotional when things don't go my way. This has caused me a lot of bad feedback. I've only just started to do this course but modules 1/2 have already had a big (positive) impact. I still have to sit on my hands a bit, but the new insight I am gaining is actually quite interesting as well as useful." FC, Toronto (Unlocking Critical Relationships). "Amazing Seminar on Strategic Influencing, As a PM, I appreciate learning new tools, especially maintaining integrity. Thank you," GK, New York. "I've been in my role for a number of years and am very ambitious. Thing is, I don't seem to be getting anywhere and am stuck. Based on some recent feedback, and quite a bit of reflection, I've realised I need to get much better at judging what others are shooting for in the wider organization. I don't want to play politics, too straightforward for that, but I do want to be able to understand what others are doing so I can engage more effectively with the whole organisation." PV, Brussels (Mastering the Politics). Read More
Politics exists in any organisation of two or more people because this word describes the attempts to influence. Unless nobody is trying to influence others in the organisation, there will be political activity of some sort. Usually, this activity is categorised as either positive or negative. Negative politics is where there is a high degree of self-serving agendas running riot and people are being harmed in the process. If there is a high level of transparency, care, respect and focus on the organisational agenda, it is usually regarded as positive politics or influence.
Which is right?The obvious right answer is positive politics. Are you sure? In fact, it is not so straightforward for two main reasons. Firstly, life and politics are never Read More
Sometimes, from the very beginning of a workshop, it is evident that the delegates have a common problem with a big powerful stakeholder. As we start to delve into their influencing objectives, “his” name keeps being mentioned. Round the table with the power cards ― there he is again. Who is this guy to be such a problem for everyone around the table? Why is he being so difficult and making everyone’s life a misery? On a recent occasion when this happened, one thing I noticed was that his name was being used as a code for “don’t even try to influence”. It was also apparent that there was a great deal of bad feeling in the room towards this character ― even the mere mention of his name. Well actually, for a long time, they wouldn’t even mention his name, somewhat akin to the fear held by elves mentioning the name of the dark lord in Middle-Earth. Something needed to be done. Troublesome, battle-hardened people exist in most organisations. These high-ranking individuals wield great power and usually do not have the time, or the patience, to let others know where they are coming from or why they are making the decisions they are making. They represent an extremely tough road-block or obstacle. Unfortunately, they are also usually misunderstood and it is this which makes them particularly difficult to handle. If you (or your team) are plagued by one of these characters, here is a simple Read More
Some writers on leadership like to imagine that the ancient leadership style of command and control is obsolete and disappearing fast. Does it feel like that to you? It is certainly less prevalent than it may have been in the 70s and 80s, but it remains pretty vigorous — at least judging by the volume of examples I hear of each month. And perhaps it should be too. Command and control still has a place in leadership and it always will — provided it is done in the right way. Alive and kicking it is and you should be taking the latter word metaphorically rather than literally! Below I will share with you three scenarios where I believe command and control is absolutely the right style to adopt. And to help me avoid becoming the friend and mentor to mini-despots the world over, please make sure and also read the criteria for appropriate use of command and control at the end of this article! Read More
When you are clear about what you want to achieve, it is often frustrating to find that others do not share your enthusiasm. A great deal of time and effort is expended building the case, considering the risks and planning the execution. Everything seems to make sense and you are keen to get going – you want to implement swiftly. Then the problems start. Reaching out to your stakeholders, you begin to find out that some are not interested. They fail to buy-in to your project or, worse, don’t even give you the time to explain your plans. When you do get to see them, they start to share insights with you about other things going on elsewhere in the organisation, which seem to be in direct conflict with what you are working on. Trouble is, you can see that they may have a valid point. Doubts begin to Read More
At times the power games and political manoeuvring appear undecipherable. An implicit feature of politics is that of imperfect information — not many know what is really going on. And the actors often relish and encourage that. Mere mortals should keep out of the way, unless they serve as useful and expendable pawns. In this article, I'm going to extend on the previous one in this series (Understanding Your Reputational Context) and increase the ante by sharing with you a process whereby you can apply Read More
We talk a great deal about influencing stakeholders here on the influence blog, yet sometimes it is those closest to you that are a missed opportunity. If you can influence your colleagues, team members and closest co-workers, a great many others things become possible. So, without further ado, here are nine ways you can become a more influential team member:
- Understand their goals. Key to being influential with people is having a deep insight into what they are striving for, or trying to avoid. If you can figure out their personal and professional agendas, you will develop a keener sense of how things that you do will affect them, and how they will react.
- Be an enthusiast, of them. My oldest self-development book (Masters of the Situation by James Tilley, 1888) proposes enthusiasm as one of the secrets of power and influence. Still true, and here you can apply it to your colleagues and their goals.