Have you ever made a suggestion at a meeting and people ignored it? Have you ever made a suggestion to a team member to improve their performance and they don’t seem to get it? To make matters even worse, someone else makes the same suggestion and that team member tells you how brilliant the other person is!!
This has happened to me a number of times. The most memorable was when I counseled a member of my staff on time management. I made the suggestion for several years running, including on his performance appraisal, and he never seemed to hear it. I finally sent him to a course. The instructor suggested the same action that I had been suggesting for several years. I was stunned when he came back raving about his amazing instructor and talking about his great idea.
On another occasion, working as a Purchasing Director with significant IT experience, I made a suggestion about resolving an IT issue on a joint project. It was ignored. Someone from IT made the same suggestion and everyone thought it was a great idea.
I don’t know about you, but I am primarily interested in results. My big aha from these incidents, was that some messages can best be delivered by other people. Surprisingly, I realized that I could have more influence by letting others do some of the talking for me. I had to learn what messages were best for me to bring to the table, and which messages were best delivered by someone else.
When you want to direct a person or a meeting, recognize that you may not be the best person to deliver every message. Just ask the parent of any teenager.
When you have an important meeting, plan what arguments are likely to support the outcome you desire. Then consider each and determine whether you are the best person to deliver each message or suggestion. If you are not the right person to be saying something, talk to thosepeople before the meeting. Win them over and ask them to help you to make the case at the meeting.
You will find that by letting go of the need to be the one to articulate the best solution and most persuasive arguments, you are more likely to be able to steer events your way.
QUESTION: What strategies do you have for increasing your influence on the discussion?
Leadership/Career Coach Kris Ishibashi is a certified Hogan provider. She works with leaders to bring together their skills, their authentic selves, and their intentions to inspire their organizations to superior performance. Click here to set up a complimentary consultation.