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Influencing with integrity - profiling for results

posted 27 Jun 2017, 18:26 by Stuart Jones   [ updated 27 Jun 2017, 18:28 ]
Nothing changes in business or life unless we as individuals change our beliefs and behaviours. Yet getting people to change is never easy. We all have an inbuilt tendency to stick with what we know. Attempts to get people to change their views – or to even consider an alternate view - typically fail, often due to lack of adequate preparation beforehand. In addition, it is often the case that we do not tailor our influencing strategy to the actual person. Rather, we create in our minds an idealised picture of how they should respond to our approach and get frustrated when they don’t. 

Yet every person is different. We have different
  • Family and cultural backgrounds
  • Ways of taking in and processing information
  • Priorities and drivers
  • Personality structures
  • Reactions to pressure or conflict

Buffet and Obama - who is doing the influencing?                 

Therefore, if we really want to influence change for the better we must adjust our approach to the individual rather than use individual differences as an excuse for not getting the outcome we want or need. When called to speak with people on difficult, challenging or complex issues The Leading Partnership asks the following questions beforehand without judging the individual we are profiling.
  1. What drives the individual? (Success? Money? Fairness? Quality? Ego? Professionalism?)
  2. How do they like to take in & process information? (Numerical data? Written word? Face to Face? Needs time alone to process? Think out loud?)
  3. How do they behave under pressure or conflict? (Does their performance improve or get worse? Anger? Avoidance? Denial? Withdrawal? Work harder? Ice cool?)
  4. How do you get the best out of them? (Focus on the big picture? Show you’ve covered off the detail? Deal with their anxieties? Offer them several options? Apply pressure?)
  5. What behaviours should you avoid in dealing with them? (Sloppy thinking? Lack of accountability? Criticism? Not discussing a problem without proposing a solution?)
  6. Who influences them? (Colleagues? Friends? Former Boss?)
The answers to these questions provide the framework for a personalised influencing strategy that acknowledges individual differences sand treats those we are seeking to influence with integrity. If a situation is particularly important we recommend using a small group to collaboratively profile the key individuals you want to influence. Human beings “know more than we can tell” about how to best manage relationships. Team-based profiling enables us to bring to the surface what the team has already learned about influencing strategies that may or may not have worked with a particular person in the past.

Philip Pogson FAICD Director, The Leading Partnership