Influencing Without Authority

Do you know what the biggest deterrent to success is when it comes to negotiating? You guessed it…you!

What happens to your behaviour when you are under pressure? What have you noticed? What feedback have you been given? Have you ever been told that you:

  • are intense
  • don’t listen
  • don’t speak up enough
  • micromanage?

I have. Early on in my career, I received feedback that I was too intense. It prevented some of my reports from truly being able to connect with what I was saying – they were more focused on my behaviour instead. I remember being defensive when I heard the feedback. I thought to myself, I’m not intense, I’m just passionate…and I want results YESTERDAY!!

Here’s the learning that keeps coming back to me: we aren’t all the same.  Every human has different values, dislikes, stressors, and fears. When we are negotiating, want results, or simply want to win, we are under pressure. Commonly, when under pressure, we let our ego and its fears guide the process. And we all know how that can end up: we fail to negotiate a desirable outcome for either party.

The first step to successful negotiating is truly taking the time to know yourself. This means defining what success looks like for the negotiation, possibly envisioning a few win / win scenarios. But equally important is knowing how you can be triggered and how your ego and its deepest fears can hijack the process. Knowing yourself means taking the time to evaluate:

  • how you are perceived under pressure
  • how does this align with what you think of yourself
  • what you are motivated by
  • what you dislike
  • what you avoid
  • what influences your decisions
  • what your deepest fears are

In my experience of working with clients, it seems many people have a surface understanding of these factors. They may have been given feedback that they need to listen more… try it for a few weeks…. and then revert back to their old habits.

If you truly want to strengthen your ability to influence without authority, make ongoing personal development a priority. Here are a few suggestions on ways you can do this

  • Always perform after-action reviews, either on your own or with someone else who was there – What went well? What was tricky?
  • Solicit feedback from people you know and trust, people who’ve experienced you under pressure
  • Spending time with a pen and a journal is always a good way to cultivate a deeper relationship with yourself.

The first step to positively influencing without authority is cultivating that deeper knowing of yourself. It’s the first step in our influencing without authority model that we’ll be sharing on our Wednesday Webinar.

Remember these webinars are complimentary and are available to you and your teams.

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