F2F'S BLOG, GOOD READING AND COOL LINKS

F2F'S BLOG, GOOD READING AND COOL LINKS

Influencing Skills: Plan Your Communications - Part 2 of 4

Thursday, January 10, 2013

By Carolyn Crawford

Back again with the second in our series summarising the planning process for influencing.
This blog will also focus on the core communication skills that are so critical to building rapport, trust and hence influencing power.  This time we’ll get into some more detail around the planning process that we recommend you practice by applying to a specific upcoming meeting with a stakeholder.


RIGHT STRATEGY

1. Make sure you’re extremely clear about your own SMART goal heading into the meeting:

a. Who will be involved? Do I need to collaborate with others?

b. What do I want to accomplish both in this immediate meeting and in the longer term?  Is it a realistic timeframe?

c. Where will we have the meeting and when?

d. Why should they consider this course of action? What’s in it for them?

 2. What’s going on in their world?

a. What Pressures are they currently under? What are they working on? What deadlines are they working towards?  What KPIs are they measured on? What else is happening personally or professionally for them?

b. What Position do they have on this issue? Are they for it? Against it? Somewhere in between? And why?

c. Do they have any Prejudices about you? Your business unit? Your organisation?

d. What’s their Personality? (NBI thinking preferences).

 
ASKING

1. Make sure you include a variety of questions including at least a couple starting with each of the following prefixes:  Who, What, When, Where, Why, How, Which.

2. Include a feeling-finding question along with your fact-finding questions eg How do you feel about that?  Why is that?

3. Order your questions from ‘big picture’ to more ‘detailed’ and then improvise some check-in questions on the day eg “so let me make sure I’ve got this right.  You’re saying X & Y means Z for your area?”.  You can do this both for your questions that probe around the problem and implications thereof, but also to prompt them towards their own solution.


APPRECIATING

1. Try to be as fully present as you can in any conversation.  Whether 1-on-1 or as part of a group meeting, give the speaker your fullest attention.

2. Give verbal and body language feedback so they know they’re being heard and understood.

3. ‘Reflectively listen’ by playing back some content and feeling in relation to what they’ve said.  This will solicit further elaboration in the direction THEY would like to take it, where a question takes it down the track of where you want to take it. 

4. Follow on questions are an equally valid listening tool but consciously choose when you want to ‘reflect’ versus ‘question’ as they achieve two different outcomes.


ADVOCATING

1. Point – make sure you have one!  It should be a one sentence message that ask the other party to think or to do something specific and give them a benefit in doing so.

2. Plan – break your advocacy into ‘chunks’ – 3-4 key headings that you state up front and signpost along the way to make it easy for the other person to follow and digest.

3. Personalise – make the benefits meaningful to the other person or their team or organisation and pre-empt where you can, any concerns you think they may have.


RIGHT INTENTION

Remember to do an ‘intention check’ so that you feel comfortable and confident that your required outcome is in line with your broader organisational goals as well as your own personal values.

While this may look like a lot of questions, for a simple meeting it shouldn’t take you more than 5 minutes to run through them and the benefits in terms of clarity of thought and a sense of confidence and control will thoroughly outweigh the 5 minute investment of time.

 

Good luck and shoot us an email to let us know how you go.

  • Want to get this learning across to your team?  Why not hire f2f to deliver it?  Contact us to get a quote today.


What our clients say...

Business Development Manager
Mars

I now feel less nervous about the concept of presenting generally and more in control of the process

Category Manager
General Mills

Carolyn not only presented useful information but demonstrated what she taught

Category Manager
adidas

I had a fantastic experience, thank you Carolyn. I'm now more inspired to face challenges.

Customer Service Officer
First State Super

Very productive and empowering experience

Director
Victorian Auditor General's Office

Very interactive and practical, not only for presenting, but also for reporting structures

Director
Victoria Auditor General's Office

Fantastic, approachable, fun and really helpful

Economist
Treasury Corporation Victoria

Excellent. Good mixture of theory and practice. One of the best courses I have ever experienced

Finance Operations Manager
Pilkington

Loved It. I have left with tools I can use tomorrow to improve all my meetings and presentations.

Finance Operations Manager
FMCG Co

Loved It. I have left with tools I can use tomorrow to improve all my meetings and presentations.

General Manager
Telstra

“Until I met Carolyn and listened to her audio course, I thought that to be a good presenter, I needed to morph into a different person. Carolyn helped me realise that being true to my unique style and personality is my greatest asset when presenting. She provides really useful tools and techniques that helped me develop my very own formula for presentation success”

General Manager
Telstra

It is all about outcomes for F2F and this is what I most appreciated as a participant in the Influencing Skills training - they always had my growth as a leader in mind, and I was kept honest through follow up work to ensure my learning was put into practice.

General Manager Business Operations
IAG (Insurance Australia Group)

Carolyn was excellent. Great anecdotes, great pace, very engaging

General Manager Marketing
Nike

Fantastic depth of knowledge and ability to demonstrate technology

HR Director
adidas Australia

Each year we ask F2F back to deliver training at adidas because they are organised, know their stuff and get results. The execution is seamless and their exceptional ability as trainers, unquestionable.

International Market Research Firm

Carolyn was helpful, respectful, empathetic and humorous€ a consummate presenter. Thank you

Logistics Manager
Mainfreight Logistics

Interesting, relevant, motivating, enlightening and fast moving

National Business Manager
Hallmark

Very relevant, logical, useful information. Immediately applicable in the workplace.

Operations Manager
IAG Limited

Not only have I personally seen the skills of my team improve, their feedback suggests unanimously that the programs were well organised, professional, challenging and stimulating. They felt in short they had indeed developed their skills.

Partner
PricewaterhouseCoopers

Excellent! Very knowledgable and experienced and it shows.

Regulatory analyst
Essential Services Commission

Lots of great tips. Lots of references to other resources. A terrific framework for planning presentations. A very worthwhile use of my time

Regulatory Consultant
Essential Services Commission

I can use everything that we covered in the session immediately in all of my work - highly relevant! It will save me heaps of time and help me focus on a clear message that connects with the reader.

Sales analyst
adidas

This training provided the structure and knowledge I was looking for. My role often requires me to persuade people. This provided me with the tools to do so.

Sales Development Manager
TAL

A wealth of information and very supportive in delivery

Senior Associate
Freehills

Apart from presentations, these skills will be useful for ordering my thoughts in arguments for meetings and preparing written advice

Senior Associate
Freehills

Very engaging and practical.  Planning was always hard and time consuming for me.  The skills learnt will definitely solve that.

Telstra Media/Entertainment

Fantastic – feeling very empowered now. Looking forward to my next presentation.

Telstra Relationship Marketing

The best presentation skills I’ve done and in fact among the best training I’ve done.  I used the planning format straight away and it worked.  Fantastic course.