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How To Influence Others

June 21, 2010 by Targeted Learning | add new comment

Regardless of your level in the organization, your impact at work is highly correlated with your ability to influence others. Whether you are trying to persuade your manager to change a behavior that is hurting your effectiveness, convince a client to adopt a new work practice, or get your company to embrace a new business strategy, your ability to influence others is crucial to your effectiveness.

Consider the following scenario: you are presenting a proposal to a group to get them to adopt a new work process. The members of this group are very happy with the current process and have already convinced themselves that they do not need a new process. You, on the other hand, are convinced that while these processes run smoothly, they are not sufficiently efficient to keep the company competitive in the long term. Although these processes were once state-of-the-art, the competition is rapidly closing the gap and may soon overtake your company.

Here is the question: which of the following two approaches should you adopt?

a. Start by confirming your mutual interests, and then explain the cons of the current process and the pros of the new process.

b. Start by confirming your mutual interests and then acknowledge the pros of the current process and the cons of changing to a new process.

If you answered “a”, you are in the majority. But is this the most effective approach?

If you know your audience is likely to oppose your ideas, first discuss the issues and concerns that are uppermost in their minds. If you are proposing a change, you demonstrate your understanding of the audience’s views by focusing first on the pros of the current process and the cons of changing to a new process. Tell them you share their concerns – and mean it! Only after you demonstrate your understanding of, and concern for, their needs, will they trust you sufficiently to listen to your views on the issue.

Download our job-tool, Four Keys to the Perfect Pitch, to discover the most effective ways to influence others and to receive a guide to prepare for any persuasive presentation.

Blog Job-Tool Download: PDF Four Keys to the Perfect Pitch

Interim Reviews

June 15, 2010 by Targeted Learning | add new comment

As we end the second quarter of 2010, many of you will be working through mid-year reviews. These interim reviews are often neglected while year-end reviews tend to hog the performance-management spotlight.

This neglect is unfortunate. While year-end reviews are important, interim reviews will – if they are done correctly – have a far greater impact on individual and organization success. The reason for this is interim reviews ensure that:

  • Problems are identified and addressed in a timely fashion
  • Support and encouragement are more evident
  • People learn more from both their successes and failures

In addition, interim reviews lay the groundwork for more productive and less stressful year-end reviews. Whether it is a ten-minute weekly checkup or an hour-long mid-year discussion, interim reviews help to keep goals aligned, promote learning, and ensure that goals are achieved.

If you are on the receiving end of a mid-year review, you need to influence the mid-year conversation to ensure that you get the direction and support you need in order to maximize your contributions to the success of your organization. If you are on the giving end of these reviews, you need to structure the conversations to reinforce the appropriate focus, confirm progress, redirect efforts, and ensure that your people have the support they need to deliver exceptional results.

You may already have a process in your organization for conducting interim reviews. If not, or if you would like to improve the quality of your mid-year review conversations, download and use our Six Question Interim Review Back-Home Application. This job-tool will walk you through a process to help you prepare for and implement successful interim reviews.

For a quick overview of the six questions, use the agenda below.

  1. Discuss progress in terms of the performance goals and development plans that were established at the beginning of the year.
  2. Ensure ongoing alignment of goals: How well do current individual goals align with those of the organization, the team, and the individual’s long-term career plans? Do any of the individual’s career goals need to be changed?
  3. Consider, from the individual’s perspective, what has gone well so far this year and what is continuing to go well.
  4. Discuss the individual’s most important opportunities for improvement.
  5. Explore how the supervisor/manager can support the individual in his/her work.
  6. Explore any other suggestions the individual may have for the supervisor/manager.

Blog Job-Tool Download: PDF Six Question Interim Review Back-Home Application


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