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Advanced Influencing Skills

Training in Advanced influencing skills

Practical tools that will persuade people to ‘buy in’ to your ideas

Two-Day Course

Course Brochure Download
Advanced influencing skills brochure
  • Understand the five stages of an effective influencing strategy
  • Master the art of Coalition Building
  • Acquire strategies for establishing your authority and expertise

Overview

This programme is designed to give practical advice about how to construct a compelling argument and present it with confidence and authority. The training is based on understanding how to approach influencing a decision from a strategic basis, and includes techniques to prepare the ground for any formal proposal e.g. by using ‘corridor conversations’ and tools for building rapport with key stakeholders.

Learning objectives

By attending this highly participative two-day course you will:

  • Gain an insight into the ‘golden rules’ of effective influencing
  • Learn a ‘tool-box’ of twelve persuasion strategies
  • Handle questions with confidence and a sense of natural authority
  • Appreciate the power of ‘networking’ in getting people to listen to your views
  • Discover an elegant four-part structure for building a business case

Who should attend?

All employees who want to acquire a methodical and professional approach to influencing the decisions that are made in the work place. It is particularly suitable for people who have an advisory or consultative role within their company, or for those people who have to make a business case in order to gain access to resources e.g. Project Managers, Marketing Managers, HR Managers, IT professionals etc.


Day 1

The golden rules of effective influencing

Understanding the underpinning principles and core concepts that Advanced Influencers apply when they are trying to get someone to agree to their suggestions.

  • Examining your current beliefs
  • Reviewing expert beliefs
  • Four common influencing mistakes
  • Making changes that you feel are appropriate for you

Exercise: making changes


The influencing process

An overview of the five stages of an effective influencing process and how it is applied in ‘real world’ situations.

Group exercise: assessing your current approach to influencing


Surf the Zeitgeist

The first step in the influencing process is to consider what’s going on in the general environment (e.g. how is the company doing? What are the challenges being faced?) And in the light of those circumstances, and that context, think about a specific objective that you want to achieve.

  • The general climate
  • The impact of corporate culture
  • Setting clear Outcomes
  • The power of Headline Statements

Pairs exercise: writing clear Goals and Headline Statements

Day 1 (cont)

Stakeholder analysis

Stakeholder Analysis is about (a) identifying and then (b) influencing the key people involved in any given project, deal or decision. So, once we know what our goal is we can start to think about who we need to get approval from to make it happen.

  • Defining Stakeholders
  • Mendelow Power/Interest Grid
  • Three key attitudes
  • Communication Action Plan

Pairs exercises: conducting a Stakeholder Analysis


Coalition building

Expert influencers are adept at getting a critical mass of decision makers and decision influencers on their side. They do this, in part, by building coalitions i.e. a group consisting of people from different political or social groups who are co-operating to achieve a particular aim. They do this diligently and systematically.

  • Three stages of coalition building
  • Lobbying
  • Corridor Conversations

Pairs exercise: practising lobbying techniques

Day 1 (cont)

Writing and presenting a formal proposal

Once a critical mass of support has been achieved it is time to write and deliver a formal proposal.

  • How to structure a business case
  • IFAB sequences (the art of a benefits presentation)
  • Making the right impression
  • Creating a powerful PP Deck

Pairs exercise: developing a Benefits Presentation


Publicise success

Part of being an effective influencer is to have a reputation as someone who can deliver results. And part of that is to make sure (a) not only to do good work but, (b) that people, especially senior executives, know that you do good work.

  • Five techniques for tasteful self-promotion

Group exercise: discovering options for publicising success

Day 2

Persuasion strategies

The influencing process typically consists of dozens of conversations with multiple people, often over many weeks. For these conversations to have the desired effect i.e. for the influencer to get what they want out of them, they need to be handled sensitively and skilfully. So, the ability to communicate persuasively is one of the key skills sets of the effective influencer.

This ability has many aspects, for example, it begins with willingness to be honest with yourself and others about what you really think and feel. It also involves a capacity to build rapport, and to appreciate what other people want or need in a given situation. Of course it also involves asking for what you want directly but courteously.

Here we cover a toolbox of twelve, research based, influencing strategies that create productive conversations…

  1. Mirroring values (the power of empathy) and bonding through ‘small talk’
  2. Reading body language to assess the other party’s reactions
  3. Summarising to create rapport
  4. Hierarchy of ideas to generate understanding and co-operation
  5. Conditional Language
  6. The Three-Step Assertive Technique
  7. Negative Consequences
  8. Credentialing
  9. Trust Builder Technique
  10. Discrepancy Assertion
  11. Story Telling
  12. Legitimising

Pairs exercise: using the twelve Persuasion Strategies to develop the ability to have positive conversations as part of the influencing process


Feedback

Feedback is based upon peer reviews using Boulden assessment checklists. Completing the assessment checklists is not only valuable to the people involved in a given case study, it also helps those completing them to gain an in-depth understanding of the building blocks that make up an effective influencing strategy.


Course structure

There is an option of following the workshop with a three month long Action Learning project to link the lessons from the training back into the workplace. If this option is selected there is a closure workshop at the end of the project phase where delegates present how they have applied the techniques learned on the course into their daily work routines.


Contact

Further information on this course is available by contacting
Boulden Management Consultants:
via our Contact form
Tel: 0844 394 8877