When we start to think about influencing its and the influencing competency as part of a competency based interview it’s a good idea to think about the different groups of stakeholders that you influence. We all need to influence staff, peers, direct manager, indirect managers, staff, business leaders and third parties, the scope of our circle of influence can be huge!
You might want to create a quick diagram of all the different stakeholders you have, this is called a stakeholder map which is often used in project management but is equally useful to all of us. Working out our circle of influence can be highly valuable. It wll help you to identify areas that are untapped and need development or ones that require greater focus mas they yield the most results.
When you set about influencing you always need to use a range of approaches to win support and gain that valuable commitment to achieve desired course of action. Simply trying to ask for support may well not be enough. You need to articulate through communication why support will benefit both yourself, the company, shareholders and the person being influenced. Making someone else job easier or telling them how a change will help them meet their objectives is powerful stuff. If a company has common objectives (either explicit or implicit) they may not even be in a position to easily turn you down.
Try to use a range of approaches and strategies to promote and gain support for ideas, products and issues. Influencing can be direct but it can also be indirect, such as via a team member rather than the manager or through highlighting the support of a respected business leader.
Influence can also be exerted by taping into people’s emotions and values. Where frustration and energy exists so does implicit support for change it’s just untapped.
Make sure you aquire third party to support own views and argument, you may start out standing on your own, but once you have the support of others your circle of influence will grow.
Demonstate how you have built momentum for initiatives and strategies, sending out an email isn’t enough, how do you keep the momentum going ?
If you strive to achieve a win win outcome, then your much likely to achieve success, influencing can be as much about informing and educating. Not everyone is responsive to change but if they can clearly see the road ahead and it looks better than todays reality your support will be all the greater.
Tell me about an occasion where it was important to to gain support for a business initiative you were responsible for ? What strategy did you develop ? What was the outcome ?
Tell me about a time when there was resistance to a idea or initiative that you were delivering ?
Give me a example of a time when you had to alter your approach to gaining support ?
Tell me about a time when you had to influence a senior stakeholder or external team ? What approaches did you take ?