In your attempt to influence, whether it’s your boss, a potential customer or client, or maybe that special someone, it’s always important to have a solid strategy. Of course, the same old strategy that worked a few years ago, or perhaps even a few months ago, may be rusty not able to meet the need at hand.
So what do you do when your influence strategy doesn’t seem to be working the way you think it should? You need to take the time and find the right direction you want to be heading – then if you have the right influence tools.
Of course, when you’re charting new territory, you need all of the instruments to find your way, right? You’ll need a map, a compass and landmarks along the way.
A strategic map will let you know where you’re going and where you need to be. You can even make a separate map to avoid any of the uncertainty that you might be expecting to really guide you through rough terrain. This map will instruct you to which tool is necessary to either tackle a new influence tactic or to dig you out of a rut. So make a map with all of the steps you’ll have to pass before you can make it to your final destination.
You’re going to need something to help you keep your bearings while you walk along the path that your influence strategy map will take you. This involves anything and everything that will help you stay organized, keep your mind free from distractions and clutter allowing you to focus on your more important goals. Also having a mentor or peer to help keep you in check can really help to maintain the focus on the path laid out before you.
How will you know if you’re on the right path if you don’t pass a few landmarks on the way? You know what these landmarks look like to you, whether they’re a pay raise, a promotion or that proverbial “Yes” we all like hearing. You should know what these landmarks look like, how to influence their certainty, and when to expect them so that you’ll know you’re that much closer to reaching the end goal on your map.
You will find it’s really helpful to physically map out your influence strategies. Write down what you want, what stages are necessary to get it, and which influence strategy will get you there. Setting mini influence strategies to reach your final outcome is incredibly helpful to help keep your job (or any goal) aspirations clear.