The Power of Influence

Efrat Gazit

In our previous blog, “Why influencing without authority is today’s top in-demand skill,” we talked about how your ability to influence and persuade people is based on the relationships you’ve built and how much you’ve invested in them. 

Influence is about ensuring people are on board with what you want to achieve, as well as how you want to achieve it. It’s also about getting people to do what you need them to do.  As a manager, you have the authority to make people do what you want. But they’ll do exactly what you asked and no more. It’s far better to get people’s cooperation because you’re able to influence them to do it, not because you’re authorized to do so.

If people do as you ask because they want to (not because they have to), they’ll often do more, the quality will be better, and you won’t need to chase them to make sure it’s been done.

3 tips to enhance your powers of persuasion:

  1. Tell them why
    Explain the reason for your request. Don’t assume it’s clear. Explain your reasoning and show the added value. Use “Because…” or wording such as “to make sure, in order to, to verify.” Make sure that what comes after “because” is something the other person also values and motivates them.
  1. FOMO
    Sometimes you can motivate people by telling them what they can gain. Perhaps there’s a unique window of opportunity when you and other team members are available, and it’s to everyone’s advantage to get it done now. 
    Sometimes they’re motivated by what they can lose. Just like you’re pressured to book tickets before they sell out, this tactic can also help you get things done sooner. 
  1. Show proof
    Validate your ask by demonstrating that it’s already been done successfully, quote stats or key opinion leaders (Google has already done this, it’s FDA approved, research has shown). Doing prep beforehand will help you make your point. It gives people confidence, and they won’t feel they’re taking a big risk if they agree.
    You can strengthen your case by pointing out you’ve consulted with others, and they’ve already agreed. Just like choosing a restaurant is based on what others have chosen, knowing it’s been done before or others are on board creates confidence. 

Show them what they can gain. Show them what they can lose. And build confidence by using relevant data. All this improves your chances of getting a “yes. “You’ll be met with more openness and your chances for success will be greater if you use these tips to overcome objections and get buy-in. 

You don’t need authority to be influential. Investing in your relationships does more than build camaraderie, it creates a sphere of influence which helps you effectively exercise your powers of persuasion and navigate your work life successfully. Ultimately, it’s all about you.

Efrat Gazit
Senior Consultant and Trainer at Barry Katz

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