Posts Tagged "influence"

Three Science-Backed Ways To Influence Other People’s Decisions

Posted on October 5th, 2016 by The Learning Factor


Your brain takes mental shortcuts all the time in order to make decisions efficiently. Because that takes place unconsciously, we can never fully control these “cognitive biases” that help us deal with the outside world—and, ultimately, survive in it. As practical as they may be, though, some of these biases can be problematic.


But the first step toward gaining a little more leverage over how your brain—and others’ brains—make judgments is simply to understand the rules it follows to do so. Getting better acquainted with these three may help you become more influential with others.

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If you want to influence others’ decisions, you’ve got to understand the mental shortcuts they use to make them.

When To Influence People, When To Inform Them, And How To Know The Difference

Posted on August 12th, 2016 by The Learning Factor

In order to get your leaders to have confidence in your ideas and your career potential, you need to persuade them. Sharing information—informing your supervisors—is part of that process, but it isn’t the process itself. No matter how much you want them to understand the depth of your work, your knowledge, and your expertise, your leaders are not studying for a test. By shifting your focus from educating to influencing, you can build the credibility you need to get where you’re trying to go.


When you try to educate somebody about a particular subject, you implicitly assume that you have the power. You’re the one with ideas, knowledge, and information—that’s why you’re imparting it, after all. Everyone else is just hoping to soak in as much as they can.


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Sharing knowledge, expertise, and information can help you be more persuasive, but it isn’t persuasion itself.

The 4 Best Ways to Influence Your Stakeholders

Posted on September 3rd, 2014 by Chris Gaborit

Everyone from general managers to system engineers is trying to influence stakeholders. Even the richest man in the world, Bill Gates spoke in a recent interview about having to influence stakeholders to complete his latest project. He said, “Helping convene global stakeholders to establish a set of measurable, actionable and consensus-built goals focused on extreme poverty is invaluable.”

Ultimately, all projects depend on the buy-in and ongoing support of stakeholders. Some are internal, such as managers and employees. Other are external, such as suppliers and shareholders.

If influencing stakeholders is going to help your project, as well as your performance review, bonus, salary, and future career, then it’s important to find out how you can become a better stakeholder influencer.

1.     Know your enemy

“Know your enemy, know yourself” is a quote from Chinese philosopher Sun Tzu’s book, The Art Of War. The 2500-year-old book is required reading for business people and is on’s list of 23 leadership books to read before you die.

One way to know your stakeholders – enemies or not – is to do a stakeholder analysis. There are many  analysis tools on Google, but here is a free template you can download from the Victorian government.

2.     Pass the dragon test

Though passion is important, it alone won’t influence your stakeholders; you need a good track record. On the TV show Dragons’ Den, people come to influence a panel of potential stakeholders to finance and support their project. What I have observed is that the most innovative product won’t be supported by the stakeholders unless the people have a positive track record. You also need a positive track record to influence your stakeholders to support your project.

3.     Possess the X-factor

Stakeholders are not fools. They are looking for one thing, the X factor. They know that if they back the person or team with the X factor, then they are more likely to get results and support from other stakeholders.

The X factor is a combination of charisma, optimism, confidence and emotional intelligence. It makes you stand out from the crowd and attracts people to you. For some people, the X factor is an innate skill. For others it is dev2eloped through determination, passion and grit.

4.     Check your foundation

Out of all the skills a leader requires, influencing skills are the number one. Fortunately, influencing is a skill that can be dev2eloped. Recently, I interviewed Australia’s former Olympic judo coach, Angela Deacon, who now works as Bankwest’s senior manager, organisational capability. I asked her whether Olympic champions ever had to go back to basics. She replied, “Olympic champions go back to basics when things aren’t working as well as they should. Basics are all about getting the technical aspects perfect.”

To elevate your influencing skills, go back to basics and look at the foundations of influencing and check whether you have been using all of these. Above all, keep using your influence and it will continue to grow. In the words of philosopher Andrew Yong, “Influence is like a savings account. The less you use it, the more you’ve got.”