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Influencing Techniques in the Workplace

Improve Your Workplace Influencing Techniques and Get a Yes in Just Four Steps

Whether you are a leader who wants to motivate others, promote an idea, or become more impactful in conversations; your efforts may fall flat even before presenting your case if you aren’t able to nail down the basic influencing techniques.

Persuading others by using your own powers to change their perceptions, behaviour or actions is influence.  Each day is an opportunity to show influence in personal and professional interactions.  Working on your persuasion skills can increase the likelihood of a YES on your next appeal.

In the modern business world, the days of a boss pounding on the desk with demand while others abide with the order, are near gone.  However, replacing these tactics are hit-or-miss ways leaders can influence others and engage support.

Tricks and tips that make connections easier can feel fake to both parties. Honesty and mutual benefits help this process work regardless of a formal title or position.

We Can Summarise This Protocol in the Four Steps Below:

1. Identify the Audience

Figure out who you will need to influence.  Weigh the variables such as a difference in generation, the level of understanding for the project, personality, and any details that can cause a significant impact.  Then choose the leadership style that best fits the goals.

Pick up on any non-verbal cues that show resistance or approval.

Try to determine who has the most influence on the decision.  Nurture those relationships with genuine interest.

2. Identify the Wants and Needs

In a meeting, most people lead with their own agenda at the forefront.  Blazing ahead with great reasons and well thought out data.  This is the reverse of an effective influencing technique as it does not align the interests of others before your request.

Areas that could spell trouble should be forecast before promoting your idea.  Knowing ahead of time is a great way to prepare and can direct your expected questions.

3. Build Trust

Research continues to show it is important to create a connection before leading. Establishing this trust happens when the person recognises certain qualities in you:

  • People trust people who are like themselves.
  • Aligned interests. Find mutual commitments or common values.
  • Have a genuine concern for others.
  • Capability or competence. The ability to deliver on your promises.
  • Predictability and integrity. Consistent trustworthy attitudes.
  • Listens fully, hears other sides, and is open to discussion.

Trust takes time to develop.  If time is short and you need to show more commonality with the person, then you can use a technique called mirroring.  This gives the person a sense of comfort and familiarity.

4. Explain the Win-Win

If you have correctly followed steps one, two and three then you are certain to have a more receptive audience for step four.  This is where reasoning comes in.  Explain the advantages clearly and give examples.

Nothing beats a strong argument that shows how the request ties to the needs of others.  How are coworkers affected if they DO NOT take part?  Pain points like this can often be as strong a motivator of support as if they DO take part.  Detail how the person or company is worse off if they do not act.

You Have Got Your Win!

This was a win that you can feel good about.  Reaching an agreement that is built on mutual respect creates more receptive relationships in the long run.  People will trust you on future interactions because of the foundation you are laying now.  With trust comes influence.

Follow this four-step protocol and you will soon be on your way to agreement and better influencing techniques in no time.


For further tips and information, you can take a look at our Ultimate Guide to Influencing Skills and our Influencing Skills YouTube Channel. Also, check out our award-winning blog to see more Influencing Skills Tips and articles.

Dan Silverman

About Dan Silverman

Dan is an experienced career development professional and leadership coach. His strengths lie in defining goals and assessing capabilities to implement strategic business plans and build key relationships. He has a solid background in developing HR strategic plans, policies, and creating programmes designed to attract and retain highly motivated and productive employees.

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