Super-fast, super-effective influencing

6th June 2023

Want someone to do something?

But not sure they’ll agree to it?

If so, here’s a super-fast, super-effective way to prepare your Influencing Communication – three things:

  1. DO
  2. Why they will
  3. Why they won’t

In other words:

  1. DO – be crystal clear what you want them to DO. Do you want them to accept your project? Give you money for an investment opportunity? Give you advice? Leave you alone? Give you a new job? A promotion? What exactly is it that you want them to DO?
  2. Why they will – now, list the reasons they are most likely to DO what you want. How will it help them personally? Will they get more of a good thing (more sales, more time, more kudos with their boss)? Will they get less of a bad thing (less cost, less risk, less feelings of isolation)?
  3. Why they won’t – what are the reasons they won’t DO it? Can’t be bothered? It will take too long? It didn’t work last time? They don’t know you? Or trust you? Or even like you?

Once you know these, you can now prepare how you’ll communicate it.

Here’s a simple example of influencing my son to go to bed. And, if I can get him to do that, you can influence anyone to do anything!

  1. DO – go upstairs, brush your teeth, go to the toilet, wash your hands, put on your pyjamas and get to bed
  2. Why he will – I will read him his favourite book. Er… that’s it! But that’s not enough! So I think of other ways to motivate him. For example, he is very competitive. So can I introduce some form of competition for him?
  3. Why he won’t – there are lots of reasons! He doesn’t want to go. He’s having fun playing downstairs. The usual boring Adults Logic (“you need a good night’s sleep, so you’re ready for school tomorrow”) just doesn’t work with a 10-year-old!

All this means that I’ll say something like this…

  • It’s nearly time for me to read your favourite book to you
  • But I don’t think we’ll be able to do this tonight. Because I’ve hidden your book in your bedroom – and you’ll never find it (his competitive juices are now flowing. So I go for it even more…)
  • … So here’s a challenge for you… If in the next two minutes, you can: find your book I’ve hidden, change into your pyjamas, go to the toilet, wash your hands, clean your teeth and get into bed – all within the next two minutes! – I’ll read you two chapters of your book
  • Are you ready…? GO!

Works every time.

Action Point

Identify your next Influencing Challenge – who do you want to do what? Prepare by thinking of the DO, why they will and why they won’t…

… and you have now a much greater chance of them doing it.

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