21 July 2022

4 min.

Preparing an influence strategy in 3 steps

Consciously or not, we exert influence on others on a daily basis. Most of the time, this influence is established in a natural and informal way with the people around us. But when the time comes to influence our colleagues, a boss, or a client, it is better to plan a strategy to increase our chances of success.

Developing a strategy to be able to have influence is especially beneficial in cases where we do not know the person or group of people to be influenced very well, or when we want to influence someone over whom we have no authority and with whom we have not yet had the chance to build credibility.

Here are the three steps to preparing an influence strategy that will help you achieve your goals while keeping all stakeholders happy and satisfied.

Step 1: Clearly define your goal

To achieve a goal, you must first define it clearly. Start by clearly identifying the person or group you want to influence. Is it a colleague, a member of your work team, your manager, a committee?

Then, ask yourself the following questions:

What do I want to obtain or acquire?

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What do I want from this person or entity?

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In what ways will I know that I have had influence on this person or entity?

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Take note of the answers to these questions, as well as any constraining factors to consider, such as the deadline or available resources.

Step 2: Step into their world

A successful influence strategy is one in which all stakeholders get something that matters to them. To be successful, it is essential to focus on what matters to the person or entity to be influenced. Think about their values, their goals, their concerns.

Also, consider the type of relationship you have with the person or entity to be influenced. Are they an ally? Do they share the same values and objectives as you, or do they go against what you want to achieve? Do not hesitate to ask for help or advice from those around you in order to validate your influence strategy.

Step 3: Identify your exchange currency

In an ideal world, your goal and the goal of the person you want to influence are the same. This makes the process much easier. When this is not the case, it is important to identify the elements that you can offer to the person you want to influence in order to get what you want in exchange; a bit like payment for a service rendered. This is where the answers you get to the questions in step 2 will be very useful.

Based on what you have identified as the values, goals, and concerns of the person you are influencing, identify what you have to offer that will be most appealing. Here are some examples of needs that you might want to address as part of your influence strategy.

1. The need for inspiration and meaning

  • Allowing the person to get involved in a project or committee that is important to the person, the team or the company.
  • Helping the person to feel that they are making a difference and serving a cause that is bigger than themselves, that contributes to society, to the planet.

2. Help in the realization of the work

  • Providing human, financial, or material resources to help achieve a goal.
    Helping to get a project approved or moving forward or providing access to the right person at the right time.

3. Support linked to a desired position within the organization

  • Offering recognition for one’s efforts, accomplishments, or skills.
  • Allowing the person to be known by those with power or influence in the organization.

4. Strengthening relationships

  • Welcoming and making the person feel part of a group.
  • Maintaining a relationship based on trust and mutual respect.

Implement this strategy now and watch the magic of influence unfold before your eyes!

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