There was an interesting conversation on the weekly #LDInsight Twitter chat this morning hosted by @LnDConnect. The question was:
How do you influence senior leaders (and others) on Learning and Organisational Development?
It was interesting to see how many people struggle or have struggled with this. Confidence, language, credibility, evidence, success stories were all named as being areas that have the potential to trip people up. There was also talk about the sales skills that are needed in order to influence others. The ability to help people understand ‘What’s in it for me’ and communicate the benefits of an approach as well as being able to overcome objections were all sighted as relevant skills. We talked about how to nurture ongoing relationships with our internal customers in the same way an organisation would with external areas.
Honing in on and developing our skills in these areas, it would seem, is likely to lead to better influencing skills.
But about half way into the discussion, I realised that I have probably been missing a trick for years. How much time have I spent second guessing what’s best in terms of how I communicate with stakeholders?
Why second guess? Would asking them be good thing to do?
I tweeted my thoughts…?
Has anyone ever been brave enough to ask the question to those you need to influence?
There were some very helpful responses. Phil Wilcox spelled out the questions that he likes to ask with a new client or at the beginning of a new project:
1) What data/information can I bring that will make you sit up and pay attention?
2) What can I bring that you’ll dismiss?
3) How can I position stuff so that it has real meaning for you?
Others diving into responding shared some great stories of how taking the time to ask the question and understanding the responses has led to them getting better at working with and influencing stakeholders.
I’m intrigued to find out your thoughts on this.
How do you find influencing senior leaders and others on Learning and Organisational Development?
What do you do to build your confidence, speak the right language, build credibility and share success stories?
Have you asked the question?
There's a slideshow of the highlight's of today's discussion below. If you’re interested in joining the weekly LnDConnect Twitter chats, just search for #LDInsight on Twitter and join in from 8am-9am every Friday.
New to Twitter? Contact me or any of the Community Team. We’ll help get you started :-)