If you want to be influential, you need to set specific outcome orientated goals for your influence. You probably have very clear goals and targets in other parts of your role, and influencing should be no different. For most people at middle to senior levels, influencing is a major part of their work.
Often influence falters because other people do not understand in enough detail what they are being asked to agree to. Most people have a vague notion of what they want to achieve, and vague notions don’t communicate very well. Greater clarity will help them decide to support you, or indeed, uncover specific reasons why they cannot support you. Either way, you will move forward on your goals more quickly.
You will be surprised just how much greater your influence will be, merely by getting very specific. Asking your boss to support your idea is vague. Asking your boss to send this draft email to a key stakeholder is getting much more specific. Don’t leave understanding to chance.
Tightening Up Your Goals
- Review each of your goals against the SMART acronym (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound).
- Consider how you will know that you have succeeded. What will the evidence be?
- Tighten up the specification as needed.
- Test your wording with friends.
- Consider — will someone know just from the wording what you want to do?
And remember — the easiest way to get someone to agree is to help them to understand exactly what you want.
Colin Gautrey is becoming the most sought-after expert in power and influence by ambitious and talented professionals who are serious about accelerating their careers and their results. But, Colin is certainly not for the faint-hearted.
This resource is one of over 500 articles, and 50 hours of video content he has packed into his Breakthrough Influence Series of online courses.