What is it?
Deciding how to have a positive impact on other people; building relationships to recognise other people’s passions and concerns; using interpersonal and organisational understanding to persuade and build collaboration.
Why is it important?
Leaders are sensitive to the concerns and needs of different individuals, groups and organisations, and use this to build networks of influence and plan how to reach agreement about priorities, allocation of resources or approaches to service delivery.
What it is not:
- Being insular
- Pushing your agenda without regard to other views
- Only using one influencing style
- Being discourteous or dismissive
Engaging with others to convince or persuade:
- Am I respectful in all circumstances?
- Do I listen to different views?
- Do I share issues and information to help other people understand my thinking?
- Do I develop and present well-reasoned arguments?
- Do I avoid jargon and express myself clearly?
Adapting my approach to connect with diverse groups:
- Do I adapt my communication to the needs and concerns of different groups?
- Do I use stories, symbols and other memorable approaches to increase my impact?
- Do I check that others have understood me?
- Do I create formal and informal two-way communication channels so I can be more persuasive?
Developing collaborative agendas and consensus:
- Do I use ‘networks of influence’ to develop consensus and buy-in?
- Do I create shared agendas with key stakeholders?
- Do I use indirect influence and partnerships across organisations to build wide support for my ideas?
- Do I give and take?
Building sustainable commitments:
- Do I contribute calmly and productively to debates arising from strongly held beliefs, even when my own emotions have been excited?
- Do I build enough support for the idea or initiative to take on a life of its own?
- Do I act as an ambassador for my organisation to gain reputational influence by sharing experiences and best practice nationally and internationally?