Tim Baker, business author and director of Winners at Work, shares tips on how to become more influential in your workplace.
How is management today different from a few years ago?
The role of management is evolving so fast that people in senior roles aren’t always prepared. Managers now need to be skilled at having constructive conversations with others as an important vehicle for influencing others. They need to be a coach and facilitator rather than a boss and delegator, but most of all, they need to have the capacity to be persuasive and influential.
How can an influence strategy create a strong brand through social media?
Flatter organisational structures and less emphasis on formal authority is the very reason HR professionals need to practice good and effective influence in their work. Naturally, people will use social media to present counter arguments. But taking time to use the four influencing strategies of investigation, calculation, motivation and collaboration you can convince others of your arguments.
What do you mean by four influencing strategies?
The four strategies are a mix of using a push/pull style and a logical/emotional approach to influencing.
Investigating requires a thorough analysis of the facts and an assertive argument based on those details. For instance, investigation would be used to influence in a workplace investigation.
Calculation is promoting the positives of a new approach and at the same time explaining the drawbacks of the current state. For instance, if you were implementing a new performance review system, an HR manager would need to use pros and cons arguments to persuade others across the organisation to adopt the new approach.
Motivation is a strategy that links a particular direction with a vision. If HR managers articulate a certain course of action and explain its alignment with the organisation’s strategic direction, they’re using motivation.
Collaborating as an influencing strategy is involving others in the decision-making process so that they feel an emotional attachment to the outcome. Managing an enterprise agreement would be an example of using collaboration.
The key for a HR professional to be more influential is to be flexible in influencing style and approach.
Why is it important to have several influencing techniques?
Formal influence is breaking down in society. For instance, police officers and teachers don’t have the same authority they once did. They, and everybody else in authority, need to use different strategies to get people to do what they want. Learning the strategies of influence is increasingly becoming important with the dissolving of formal power-bases. Managers are, in many ways, professional influencers. Their job is largely to persuade others to take particular courses-of-action.
HR professionals are effective when they are competent at being influential. I think there’s a tendency for HR professionals to be content experts and forget the importance of their role as change agent and influencer.
Tim Baker is presenting a webinar on elevating the influence of HR and provides four strategies for influencing. Find out more