In the second of the series of blogs by our facilitator Graham Elder we look at influencing behaviours and how they contribute to long term relationship building….
Look out for the third and final one in the series in the next few weeks.
Influencing and the Market of One - part 2
Working with a local government authority recently, I shared the work of David Baldwin and Curt Grayson at the Centre for Creative Leadership, which identifies the power of different approaches based on your knowledge of the individual, to create influence. The three key approaches or appeals are logical, emotional and cooperative.
A logical appeal focuses on someone’s reason and intellect. In the past, you might have presented a logical argument based on the value of your proposal to an individual’s organisation. Nowadays, buyer behaviour is key, and you need to be presenting powerful personal benefits. In explaining the reasons for proposed actions, you focus on objectivity and logic, with factual and detailed evidence for the feasibility and importance of everything you’re suggesting. You explain clearly and logically why these actions are recommended. When challenged, you explain how potential problems or concerns can be handled. What’s essential though, is linking to personal benefits like how an action is likely to benefit a person’s career, help them gain more visibility, or make a job they do easier or more interesting. In the context of my local government client, logical is: “Installing single rather than double yellow lines will still mean that parking can be controlled at key times” Personal Logical though is more like: “I’ll make it clear that your involvement was key in obtaining this concession”.
An emotional appeal is the second technique, still personal, but linking your objective to an individual’s feelings and values in relation to the problem or task. You create a clear and appealing vision and describe the task with enthusiasm. “It’s incredibly important that we get this right for residents, and I know you understand that. We need residents to feel we’re working with them, and the CPZ recognises their needs.” In this example, the influencer knows this person cares deeply about resident needs.
A cooperative appeal builds a connection between you, the person you want to influence and potentially others. You create an atmosphere in which there’s a sense that you are working together with them to accomplish a mutually important goal. This technique is at the heart of personalised influencing. You do business or achieve your goal by building cooperative connections that may involve collaboration (figuring out what you will do together) and consultation (finding out what ideas they have). You create an atmosphere in which you are both working together to achieve the right result, and the person you are influencing sees you as a strategic partner rather than a salesperson or service provider. In the local government context I’ve been working in, a cooperative appeal might include statements like: “We have to get this right for residents, what kind of data would be most useful for us to look at?”
So, building on my first piece on this topic, what I’ve described here is another factor to consider in your approach to the market of one. Will the person you’re approaching appreciate a logical, emotional or co-operative approach more? Do they feel pain and gain on a logical, emotional or cooperative level? What’s more likely to make them feel they’re talking with someone who understands them?
Reference: David Baldwin and Curt Grayson: “Influence: Gaining Commitment, Getting Results”
You may be interested in Graham’s first blog in the series Working in the Market of One And how we help organisations build effective relationships across all disciplines and sectors Creating the Culture
Graham has been a professional facilitator, learning designer and coach for more than 25 years. He has worked nationally and internationally, with clients as diverse as Fujitsu, HP Enterprise, the John Lewis Partnership, UK Ministry of Defence, National Health Service and the Government of Ghana as well as law firms, media organisations, rail engineering and social services.