A key skill relevant to leaders at all levels is the ability to positively influence people in such a way that others willingly alter their thoughts and plans, versus merely complying because the leader has authority.

This is the first of our “tips” series on influencing without the use of authority, which is intended to provide you with some practical tools and tips that you can use to affect change.

 When people resist ideas, the reason is typically apparent by examining the following 3 questions:
• Is the problem that you are trying to solve clear to the other party, along with the full implications of inaction?

• Have you been clear about what you want and the specific benefits of doing things the suggested way?

• What is the extent of the first step that you expect the other party to take, and can it be minimized? For example, is there a creative way to have them take a series of smaller steps to provide early wins and comfort with the change?

Think about the last time you made a suggestion to someone and they did not adopt your way of thinking. Which one of these variables do you feel needed more attention?

Knowing this, how would you approach the same situation if it were to present itself today?
Russel Horwitz, Principal