Exponential impact requires exponential influence.
If we can’t win hearts and minds, our ability to make big things happen is limited by our own personal productivity.
In fact, we could say:
Impact = Skills X Influence
The brutal truth is, no matter how influential we are, we don’t (yet) have the influence we need to achieve our biggest goals.
- You can influence your team – but can you mobilise your organisation?
- You can influence your client – but can you get in front of their CEO?
- You can influence your entire business – but how about your industry?
You can see that influence is one of the key constraints that can hold us back at any time in this journey of ever-greater impact.
The obvious next question – how do we grow our influence?
Here are three key principles to put to work immediately.
Master one conversation at a time
The importance of honing your conversational skills is essential to enhance your influence, leading to successful business expansion.
Conversations serve as the building blocks of relationships, and relationships are the foundation of business success. When you engage in meaningful conversations with clients, investors, or employees, you have the opportunity to foster connections, establish trust, and convey your vision effectively. Each conversation is an opportunity to leave a lasting impression, and by mastering the art of communication, you can expand your influence and propel your business forward.
To make a significant impact in your conversations, active listening is paramount. Practice truly listening to others, allowing them to express their thoughts and concerns. By paying attention to their words, body language, and emotions, you can better understand their needs and expectations. This insight will enable you to respond appropriately and tailor your message to resonate with your audience, thereby increasing your influence.
Influence is built on trust, and establishing rapport is vital in this process. Focus on building genuine connections with the people you engage with. Show empathy, ask relevant questions, and show sincere interest in their perspectives. Creating a positive and trustworthy atmosphere will foster stronger relationships and increase your ability to influence others meaningfully.
In the realm of business conversations, clarity and conciseness are key. Learn to articulate your thoughts, ideas, and business propositions in a straightforward and concise manner. Be mindful of your audience’s time and attention span, delivering your message with clarity and purpose. The ability to convey complex concepts in a simple and understandable way will enhance your influence and help you garner support for your business endeavours.
To scale up your business successfully, you need to master the art of persuasive communication. Clearly communicate the benefits, value, and competitive advantage of your products or services. Use compelling storytelling techniques to engage your audience emotionally and intellectually. Support your arguments with data, case studies, or testimonials to strengthen your credibility. You can influence decisions, secure partnerships, and drive business growth by mastering persuasive communication.
Improving your conversational skills is an ongoing process. Actively seek feedback from trusted mentors, colleagues, or even clients to identify areas for improvement. Embrace constructive criticism and make necessary adjustments to enhance your communication style. Continuously learn from your experiences, engage in personal development activities, and stay updated with industry trends further to refine your conversational prowess.
Calibrate push and pull behaviours
Mastering the delicate balance between push and pull behaviours can be a game-changer when it comes to scaling up your company. The ability to calibrate these behaviours effectively allows you to enhance your influence, build strong relationships, and drive business growth. In this blog, we will explore the significance of push and pull behaviours in the context of business expansion and provide practical strategies for calibrating these behaviours to improve your influence.
Push and pull behaviours represent two distinct approaches to influence and persuasion. Push behaviours involve assertiveness, directness, and proactive efforts to persuade or convince others. On the other hand, pull behaviours revolve around attraction, collaboration, and creating an environment where others are drawn to your ideas and vision. Both approaches have their merits, and mastering the calibration of these behaviours is key to successfully scaling up your business.
To effectively calibrate your push and pull behaviours, it’s crucial to assess the situation and understand the context in which you’re operating. Consider factors such as the personalities involved, the organisational culture, and the specific goals you want to achieve. By comprehensively understanding the situation, you can adapt your communication style and determine the appropriate balance between push and pull behaviours for maximum influence.
Push behaviours are particularly useful when conveying a clear vision, making critical decisions, or driving organisational change. Be assertive in expressing your ideas and beliefs, providing logical reasoning and supporting evidence to strengthen your position. However, it’s essential to avoid becoming overly aggressive or dismissive of others’ perspectives. Strike a balance between assertiveness and openness to maintain trust and collaboration.
Pull behaviours are essential for fostering collaboration, building strong relationships, and attracting others to your cause. Cultivate empathy and actively listen to the needs and concerns of your team, clients, and stakeholders. Seek common ground and build consensus by involving others in decision-making processes. Incorporating their input and making them feel valued creates a sense of ownership and loyalty, increasing your influence in the process.
The key to effective influence lies in striking the right balance between push and pull behaviours. Recognise that different situations may require varying degrees of assertiveness and collaboration. For example, a more assertive approach may be necessary when faced with a high-stakes negotiation. However, a collaborative and empathetic style will yield better results when building long-term relationships or inspiring your team. Continuously assess the dynamics of each interaction and adapt your behaviour accordingly.
Authenticity is paramount regardless of whether you lean more towards push or pull behaviours. People are more likely to trust and follow those who are genuine and consistent in their actions. Be true to your values, communicate with transparency, and let your passion shine through. At the same time, remain flexible and adaptable. Recognise that different individuals may respond better to varying degrees of assertiveness or collaboration, and adjust your approach accordingly.
Practice big asks.
As an entrepreneur or business leader, scaling up your company often requires bold actions and influential requests. The ability to practice BIG asks—seeking out significant opportunities, partnerships, and resources—can greatly impact your ability to grow your business. So let’s delve into the importance of practising BIG asks to improve your influence and provide practical strategies to help you unlock new avenues for scaling up your business.
BIG asks involve stepping outside your comfort zone and seeking opportunities that may seem ambitious or even audacious. These requests can range from securing major partnerships and investments to negotiating strategic alliances or accessing valuable resources. By practising BIG asks you can challenge conventional limits and open doors that were previously unimaginable, propelling your business towards exponential growth.
Before embarking on your journey of BIG asks, it’s essential to cultivate a growth mindset. Embrace the belief that anything is possible and that you have the ability to overcome challenges and achieve extraordinary results. A growth mindset allows you to approach opportunities and setbacks with resilience and determination, increasing your chances of influencing others to support your BIG asks.
To effectively make BIG asks, meticulous research and preparation are key. Identify potential partners, investors, or resources that align with your business goals and values. Understand their needs, motivations, and pain points. Develop a compelling case for why your request is mutually beneficial and present a well-crafted plan to demonstrate your commitment and potential for success. Thorough preparation will instil confidence and credibility when making your BIG asks.
Influence is built on trust and strong relationships. Prioritise relationship-building efforts with key stakeholders long before making BIG asks. Establish connections by engaging in networking events, industry conferences, and relevant communities. Nurture these relationships by offering value, demonstrating your expertise, and actively supporting others in their endeavours. Building trust and rapport increases the likelihood of receiving positive responses to your BIG asks.
When making BIG asks, it’s crucial to articulate the value and vision behind your request. Clearly communicate how your proposal aligns with the interests and goals of the other party. Highlight the potential benefits and outcomes that can be achieved through collaboration or investment. Craft a compelling narrative that captivates their attention and conveys your passion and determination. A well-presented value proposition significantly enhances your influence and increases the likelihood of obtaining a positive response.
Not every BIG ask will yield the desired outcome. Rejection is a natural part of the process. Instead of being discouraged, view rejection as an opportunity for growth. Analyse the feedback received, learn from the experience, and refine your approach for future BIG asks. Successful entrepreneurs and business leaders often encounter multiple rejections before achieving breakthroughs. Perseverance and the ability to iterate based on feedback are crucial for continuous improvement. What’s your influence goal?
Let’s end by coming back to the brutal truth I started with:
You don’t (yet) have the influence you need to achieve your biggest goals.
The fourth Impact Multiplier, then, is Increasing Influence.
So, dream a little.
If you could expand your scope of influence, who would you be able to reach and what would become possible?
Drop a comment below and let’s strike up a conversation about that……