How to influence in the overwhelming world of communication
How can you influence your employees in the overwhelming world of communication? Presentation coach Simon de Cintra reveals his top tips.
The art of effective communication is so critical in this modern, ever inclusive world, with the need to connect and engage effectively across countries, languages, religion, ages, gender and more.
To get the best from people, you need to treat them as they like to be treated, this is the case for both your employees, suppliers and customers.
Below are my top tips for authentically communicating with and influencing your team.
1. Ensure all employees are on the same page
Too often in business we have to fix problems that have happened because of a breakdown in communication preventing our ability to influence.
When faced with different versions of the truth, it is critical that managers guarantee that everyone understands and agrees to the same terms and intentions, whilst also understanding differences in opinions, views and experiences.
2. Make allowances for differences
As a manager you need to be prepared to make allowances for differences in others to boost collaboration and ensure that any unnecessary conflict is avoided. In order to influence your workforce you must be transparent, empowered and accountable.
In his popular TEDx talk, Richard Greene, highly renowned public speaking expert, spoke about the importance of not just giving a ‘speech’ but rather creating ‘conversations’ from the heart. This is the core of authentic communication and influencing, but this does not necessarily mean everything you say has to be nice.
3. Prioritise ‘fair’ conversations
Fairness underpins many Human Resource Management strategies. The ability to have a fair and transparent conversation, without expecting yourself to be nice, is key to influencing employee performance.
Fair conversations ensure that any issues are aired and addressed before it is too late. Fairness sparks trust and integrity, and as long as the purpose of your conversation is to genuinely help an employee to improve and not to avoid what some may describe as a tricky conversation, you will be able to influence.
If your intentions are honourable and positive you must be fair rather than nice to be respected and able to influence.
4. Focus on the dialogue in the room, not the monologue in your head
A clear and supportive inner monologue is the first step towards unlocking your business voice. Make sure your receptors are turned on and tuned in before you hit the play button and start to try and influence your workforce’s performance.
Never forget to switch from broadcast to receive mode when engaging in a conversation, it should always be a two-way process, even when you are delivering a speech.
Your inner voice is helpful, so take notice. However, just like your external voice, it needs managing. Always be mindful that what you’re saying to yourself is transmitted into what you're saying to others.
Acknowledge your inner monologue, don’t be ruled by it, and tune your internal dials such as your volume, body language and pace to the external world.
5. Hook your employees with your conclusion
When trying to influence it is crucial to be clear, not to overload your audience with the detail and risk having to revisit the same conversations over and over again.
If you get too fixated with your side of the communication equation and preparing what you plan to say, this can work against you and lead to limited impact.
You will be likely to get seduced by the quality of your own argument and neglect the receiver's input. Expect the unexpected and build that into your preparation, you do not need to know every last detail before trying to influence.
6. Look at how you have influenced people in the past
Often you will be influential without even realising, as it happens naturally during any communication to some degree.
Consider occasions when you have indirectly influenced someone at work or in your personal life and record what communication tactics you utilised to lead to this outcome. This will give you detailed notes to look back on to see what strategies have influenced your colleagues previously.
7. Learn from the successful influencers around you
Observe successful communicators around you and see if there are any influential strategies you could adopt to apply to your own organisation. Create a list of communicators you admire and write down how exactly they achieve this and make it your objective to incorporate these into your own personal communication style.
Simon de Cintra’s book Unlock Your Business Voice - How to Speak As Well As You Think (Rethink Press) is available to buy now from Amazon at £12.99.