Influence others better (and a Boundsy Bonus for you)

24th February 2015

Firstly, the Boundsy Bonus…

My new book Top Dog: impress and influence everyone you meet is out now.

But please don’t buy it!

Well, not yet anyway. The official launch is next week. If you buy it then, I’ll also send you an exclusive podcast I created to accompany the launch – ‘How to make a great first impression’. I’ll tell you more in next week’s Tip.

And now, here’s this week’s Tip…

To influence and persuade others, you must:

  • appeal to their self-interest
  • show that your proposition will add value to them
  • help them see your proposition will make their future better than their present

So, the more future-focussed your communication, the greater your chances of success.

But, when communicating, people tend to focus more on the past and present, than the future:

  • Companies often sell by discussing their past (“founded in 1922”), not the enhanced future they’ll get (“here’s how we can help you increase market share”)
  • Interviewees often discuss their achievements to date (“this is where I’ve worked”), not the value they’ll bring to the employer’s future (“this is what I can do for you”)
  • Conflicts tend to focus on past actions (“you shouldn’t have done that”), rather than finding a workable solution going forwards (“how can we resolve this, in ways we’re both comfortable with?”

As the saying goes, ‘the past is for reference, not residence’. Future–focus leads to more positive outcomes. For example:

  • Strategies land when everyone sees how their future will be enhanced by adopting them
  • Arguments get resolved when both parties remember it’s more important to find a solution than it is to be right
  • Employers recruit/promote you when they know you’ll improve their company
  • Conferences, workshops and 121s improve business performance when organisers and speakers focus firstly on the business improvement they want the event to cause, and secondly on the content of the event
  • Delegation is more effective when people see the value a task will bring, rather than just seeing the task itself
  • Meetings and conference calls lead to positive action when the Chair prepares by thinking what they want the meeting to cause, not cover
  • Customers buy when they see the value your organisation will bring

Action Point

Think of a communication that isn’t going as you’d like. Ask yourself:

  1. Am I being future-focussed enough?
  2. Is the other party aware of how their future will be enhanced by a successful resolution?

Use your answers to shape how you proceed.

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