Whatever you want to achieve in life will involve influencing other people, so inevitably, those who are most influential will be the most successful
According to Peter Nelson, programme director for Henley’s Influence and Impact programme: “Whether you’re a manager wishing to influence up to your board, or down to your team, or want to convince customers to buy from you, understanding the subtleties of influence is key to achieving your goals.
“The same rules apply at every level – internally and externally – in meetings and negotiations, conferences and pitches.
“We’ve all been bombarded with PowerPoint, bored by monotone monologues or, conversely, seen speakers light up the room with engaging stories, humour or insights.
“You may recall a teacher who inspired you to follow a particular path or do better in a specific subject. These individuals have a massive impact.
“And you don’t need to be an extrovert. People who convey a sense of quiet authority are more highly regarded than those who verbally bully their audience.”
Greetings and meetings
Creating a positive first impression helps us to set the tone for future engagement, and in one-to-one meetings, recognising cues and having a toolkit of skills will maximise the chances of a favourable outcome.
Dealing with disruptive or irritating people is a skill we can all develop. Henley’s Influence and Impact programme is full of tips to manage these scenarios, through speaking techniques, body language, posture and negotiating tactics.
According to Nelson, the responses we give in a face-to-face situation are crucial. “A culture of giving positive, constructive feedback encourages a sense of honesty, transparency and nurturing. This, in turn, leads to higher productivity, lower attrition and more effective teamwork.”