Agendas can be professional or personal. Personal agendas are not always known unless you are very close to the individual concerned. Yet these agendas have a significant influence on the personal decisions the individual will make.
“If you can discover the hidden agendas, you can find new ways to influence them.”
It is your job to uncover these hidden agendas so your increased understanding can be factored into your plans. Unless you know what is against you, it is very difficult to influence effectively.
While using the term hidden agenda, I do not wish to imply that it is being deliberately kept from you. Sometimes it is and lots of relationship building will be required to uncover it. Most times, it is only hidden because you don’t know what it is.
How to Understand Hidden Agendas
- For one of your goals, note down the people you need to influence.
- For each, try to write down what you think their agenda is.
- Meet with each and ask questions sensitively to check your understanding.
- Ask them what needs to change about your goal to gain their agreement.
- If your goal works against their agenda, find creative ways to align your goal to their agenda.
- Work with them to solve problems and negotiate to bring the agendas closer together.
And remember – assuming you know the other person’s agenda is dangerous. If you are successful despite conflicting with someone else’s agenda, you could be storing up trouble for the future.