If you are interested in becoming more influential, you can use the dimensions of influence explored in the Influencing Skills Survey to focus you attention where it will yield the greatest result. There is no point spending lots of time developing a skill if you it will not help you in your career.
Even better if you’ve also been able to get some feedback from others!
With Influencing Skills Report
Use this part of the exercise if you have obtained a copy of an Influencing Skills Survey report. If you don’t have one, you can get one at The Gautrey Group. If you haven’t got a report, don’t worry, just scroll down to view another exercise.
- Get a good overview of the report by glancing at the highs and lows. Remember that your scores are likely to be the level of skills you think you have, whereas other people were asked specifically, to what extent you demonstrate that skill. Therefore, you may have the skill, but not use it so people can see it.
- Focus on the top two dimensions (rated highest by others). Looking at the detailed breakdown, what did people think you were particularly good at? How does that differ from your own opinion? What could explain the difference in perception?
- Similarly, go into the detail for the bottom two dimensions. Are they right? Are you right?
- Refer to the sections on strengths and weaknesses. Is there anything else there worthy of consideration?
- In your work, which are the most important dimensions (or skills) which you need to have to succeed? How did you score?
- Discuss with your line-manager to check your thinking.
- Finalise three or four key priorities for you to develop so that you can become more influential. Use other sections of this workbook or other resources you have available to build your development plan.
Note: Sometimes people overrate their own skills and need to adjust their perception. At other times, people underrate themselves and need to recognise that they are better than they think they are.
Influencing Skill Development (without report)
It is not necessary to have a report to be able to use this structure to make progress; however, some of the detail will inevitably be lost (see Section 4: Assessments). This exercise is particularly useful when done with your line-manager, coach, mentor or trusted friend. Their perspective should give you different angles to consider.
- Consider the areas of influencing skills outlined above.
- For each area, give yourself a score between 0 and 100 to represent how well you believe you demonstrate this area of skill to your stakeholders. The higher your score, the better you think you are doing. For each, try to think of specific instances where you have (or have not) displayed the skill.
- Now, thinking about your work and the people you have to influence, put the different areas into priority order based on how important they are to your success. Of course, they are all important, but, right now, which are the most important ones that would enable you to influence your current stakeholders?
- Compare your scores with your list of priorities. Which are you not so good at that are really important to have in your situation? Use other sections of this workbook or other resources you have available to build your development plan.
It might also be worth taking a look at Exercise: Becoming More Influential.