Never underestimate the power of being a rebel. While rebelling can be effective, the results are often short-lived.
Instead, learn the key factors that influence positive change. You’ll become part of the solution, and not part of the problem. The results will be long-lasting and support your career aspirations.
5 Key Tips to Influence Change
Get the Facts. Overreacting to an issue will only make the issue bigger than it needs to be. Get the actual facts, not the facts you’ve made up to justify your reaction.
An example: A business owner felt offended by a comment a trusted employee made. Instead of asking for clarification, he ruminated about it. Then, a few days later when the employee asked for help, the business owner commented, “Why would I need to help you? You seem to have all the answers.” A few weeks later the employee rebelled by leaving to take another job.
Use Your Words to Inspire. Talk Straight. Mean what you say and say what you mean. Influencing others requires diplomacy, tact, and respect. Choose your words in a way that gets others’ positive attention and interest. Don’t use offensive words or humor since they will usually back-fire. Remember, others will interpret your words through their own filters. So, consider the make-up of your audience when crafting your messages!
Be Open to Hearing Opposing Points-of-View. Dismissing someone’s opposing view will only make them defensive and unwilling to budge from their position. Be fearless when asking good questions to learn more about their perspective. Remember, they can have valid opinions too. A good way to build agreement is to repeat back what you heard the other person say (to his/her satisfaction) before responding to his/her remarks.
For example: Telling someone you won’t listen to their ideas will create a rebellion, covertly or overtly. A sales manager learned this the hard way when a sales rep suggested a new way of communicating with customers, current and future. The sales manager refused to listen, thinking it was a bad time to make any changes. A covert rebellion ensued. The sales rep left taking several other top sales reps with her. The company’s #1 competitor happily welcomed them and their ideas!
Be a Parrot. Plan on repeating yourself over a period of time. Influencing change takes time. Often, leaders are blind to what is possible. They fear change and any loss of control…so they will resist new ideas. Don’t be afraid to acknowledge others’ positions with respect and help them determine what is in it for them.
Provide Your Plan in Writing. Yes, write it all down. Then, build your influence by getting others’ buy-in before fine-tuning. When making any change to the plan, don’t change the heart and soul of the idea. Present the plan, along with a budget and timeline. Remember, you’re looking to build alignment, not consensus.
©Jeannette Seibly, 2020
Jeannette Seibly is The Leadership Results Coach. She has been an award-winning executive coach and keynote speaker for 28 years. Her expertise is guiding leaders and teams to get unstuck and achieve dynamic results. Contact Jeannette for a confidential conversation.
Note from Jeannette Seibly: I love coaching leaders and their teams to create win-win-win strategies and dynamic results, and have been doing so for the past 28 years. During this challenging time, if you need to talk and bounce ideas off of me, please contact me. In your email, please provide your name, phone number, the general issue, along with several times to talk. JLSeibly@SeibCo.com