Many people have the following mindset: “I’m usually fine with people, but there’s one stakeholder or customer I just can’t get onside.”

This problem is consistent across many industry sectors, cultures, and demographics. Here is how to take action and increase your influential ability at work…

Put yourself at the centre of the solution and reframe the goal

There will always be individuals or challenging customers who are hard for your to communicate with. However, if you make yourself the focus of the goal, it’s much more personal and rewarding. Another common mistake people make is trying to work on everything at once.

Instead, you need to say to yourself: “I’m already a great communicator. This is the next thing I want to work on.” It’ll become overwhelming if you try and change your communication style too drastically, as well as changing your personality while you’re at it. The key to reaping the return on your investment is making the juice worth the squeeze. Choose and commit to one specific future outcome at a time and apply the methodology to that.

The most damaging conversations in business are the ones that don’t happen

The most damaging conversations in business are the ones that don’t happen rather than the ones that do. My advice to my clients is to consistently pursue opportunities that involve a conversation. This will encourage a sharing culture in the workplace, helping ideas flow and relationships blossom. Do not ignore the importance of communication!

Consider how influential you are

Over your career think how you have previously influenced a customer into a sale or convinced a colleague to follow your idea without actively pushing the individual to do so. For instance, you may have persuaded a hesitant customer to make an additional purchase. Take down some notes on what occurred in the lead up to this influence, these notes can be used as evidence as to how you are naturally influential.
What situations have previously lead to deadlock?

Deadlock is an incredibly frustrating time for all parties involved, it doesn’t happen that often but when it does, its very memorable. Most likely there will be patterns that emerge in the lead to up to deadlock they usually include:

People with conflicting personalities

Pressing deadlines

An individual/s abusing their power

A lack of a sense of direction

No-one is prepared to compromise

The last point is the killer. Instead of working to find a solution, many people end up walking away. Choose your tactics depending on the importance of maintaining a relationship with the opposition, supplier or customer, it is crucial to walk away from those where there is nothing to be gained.

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