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Influencing has become an important skill which is required by managers and leaders around the world. In order to encourage people to see your point of view, influencing holds key. Influencing can be best referred to as “the power or force through which you can change the actions and behavior of others”. This can lead to success for companies and organizations in the short, medium and long run.

There has always been confusion between influencing and negotiating. Influencing is the approach through which you can have an impact on how others think and behave and bring them around to your way of thinking. On other hand negotiation is when you and other party tend to meet in the middle and reach a consensus.

Influencing can be used on a number of occasions, whether it is when implementing a new policy throughout the organization, demonstrating to a customer the benefit of the product they are looking to buy or basically just helping a particular team understand why change is necessary and required.

A good influencer can accomplish a number of things – easily indicate the benefits of the idea being pursued in order to influence others to agree. If this method is not successful then a good influencer can easily find an alternate way in order to influence. The ultimate outcome to remember is win/win/win. A win for them, a win for you and a win for the greater good (this could be your company).

Listening carefully is another important task a successful influencer can accomplish with ease. Noticing how others respond to ideas and thoughts, assessing their reactions and being flexible in changing direction ensures greater success in influencing others.

There are certain steps you need to follow to you are a successful influencer. It is important to remember and use information about the person you are trying to influence in order to build a relationship. Once that is done, you should engage in conversation. Once you have built rapport, ask questions on what he or she feels about the topic at hand. You should listen intently to the response given so that you can access this information later, if required to recap.

Building rapport and finding their point of view increases the opportunity to influence successfully with each person. Reflect the language they use back to them in conversations, to ensure they understand what you are saying and are comfortable with how it’s being delivered. Keep asking questions to ‘test the water’, so to speak. Close the conversation as soon as they are across the idea – there is no reason to oversell.

You will find total commitment will be far easier to obtain when you use your influencing skills rather than ‘telling’. It is important you engage your audience, inform them of the current situation and explain them how you plan to implement the particular plan. Make sure you let them know – What’s in it for them! Influencing is important and if a leader or manager can master the art of influencing then he/she can be successful in all areas of work.

Blog first posted on www.selfgrowth.com