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One of the most under used influencing strategies by leaders

25th January 2018

Influencing Strategies

As a leader one of your main jobs is to influence others and engage them to deliver on the business strategy.

The mistake many people make is they believe this means they have to be on transmit mode most of the time, telling people the direction to go in, setting the goal and time line and explaining their position. If questions are asked it’s usually to gather information to support where you want to go or to find out the blockages that are getting in the way.

If you are on the receiving ended of this it can sometimes feel as though you are being pushed down a road. It may even feel like an interrogation, forceful and occasionally intimidating…

Be an explorer not an interrogator

So what is this underused influencing strategy that will make the difference?

It’s listening!

By this I don’t mean listening so that you can find the right place to speak and share your views. I mean listening with a real curiosity. Listening to explore the other person’s agenda. What do they really think? What direction do they want to go in? What’s the tone and energy behind what they are saying?

Be open and prepared to explore what they are saying so that you really understand where they are coming from. If you are open to others they tend to be open with you.

Listening is a great influencing strategy

 Listening means you have to be on receive mode. Absorbing what the other person is saying and putting aside your own personal needs.

How is this an influencing strategy I hear you ask? Before I answer that let me ask you a question. Have you ever been really listened to? If you have then you will know that you feel safe, that the other person is really engaged. You just get a sense that they are with you and not distracted by what’s going on around them or what might be coming up next.

My guess is you also shared more and there was a degree of trust built. Listening builds trust, particularly if all you are interested in is their agenda not yours.

A core part of influencing is about building relationships. That’s why this is an influencing strategy, because it greatly helps build relationships. Influence comes from interaction.

Extend your range

We are often blind to how we come across and finding out how you affect others is part of your growth. Have someone reflect back how you are showing up. Use someone you know will give you quality feedback. Ask them for feedback on these areas:

  • Eye contact. Were you looking at the person you were listening to?
  • Being fully present. Did you remain interested? Did the other person feel you were engaged?
  • Asking questions for clarity.
  • Open body language.
  • Voice tone. Did it match the other person?

If you want to influence others show they have influenced you. Share how your position or perception has changed and how you’ll adjust your proposal.

If you know you could improve your impact and influence email me to set up a free discovery call to explore how I may be able to support you in your growth.

“The best way to persuade people is with your ears — by listening to them.” 

Dean Rusk



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