1.Treat others as you would like to be treated. Great if you are starting out in the corporate world and looking to adjust to adult, corporate behavior. However, once the settling in process has passed, treating others as if they are the same is a bit elementary. Spot their processing preferences (detail rich/detail light; macro or micro picture; facts vs intuition; emotion vs containment; pacey decision making or time to think) and match your style accordingly. In short, treat them as they would like to be treated.
2.Thinking negatively about someone and expecting an influencing conversation to go well. It’s not possible to antagonise and positively influence. Influencing depends on honourable intent. Cleansing the way we think and feel about the people we need to influence is essential in soliciting support for our goals.
3.Interpreting silence as agreement. Silence is silence. If you want to know whether someone agrees with your idea/proposal, ask them.
4.Leaning forward, elbows on the desk, hand clasped together shows interest and professionalism. It does, in part, though it can also dilute status and project neediness. Taking up more space and pushing your chair away from the table can increase status and keep you connected to your audience. Try it. Sit up with a straight back, feet planted hip distance on the floor, elbows on the armrests of the chair. Now relax your shoulders.
5.It’s OK to come into a meeting finishing off a call/sending an email. It is, as long as the impressions of the people in the room don’t matter to us. Finishing off a phone call/working on emails whilst walking into a room is time efficient. It also means that we don’t give others our full attention in the meet and greet process. Where impressions are still being formed, this can convey “arrogance”, “doesn’t care about me or my agenda” or “self-importance”. It could make our job of influencing them much harder. Better to finish the calls/emails before we enter, leaving time and attention for the meet and greet process.
6.Better to focus on opportunities and benefits than current problems when persuading others. It is true that the higher up the hierarchy we go, the more aligned we are to a ‘moving towards’ motivational style (things we want and don’t yet have). However, it is possible that some of your audience are motivated by a ‘moving away’ from style. That is, they are motivated to change because they don’t like what they have. It’s difficult even with a crystal ball to know which one will leverage most momentum in any situation, hence the need to provide both: issues created by the current situation, as well as the gains of any proposed action.
7.Information is valued. It is, but not as much as insight. Sift through your data. What is it telling you about what needs to be done? Bring informed insight to your audience. Information is only of value in influencing terms when it can help us deal with the present and the future. Ensure each word adds value and give your audience time to absorb it (don’t rush). Less is more!