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Optimize Your Influence

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There are three kinds of influencing tactics: logical, emotional and cooperative. We call them influencing with head, heart and hands.

A logical appeal taps into people’s reason and intellect. You present an argument for the best choice of action based on organisational benefits, personal benefits or both.

Most of us know how to tout the organizational benefits of our ideas or plans. We explain the reasons for our proposed actions objectively and logically, with factual and detailed evidence for their feasibility and importance. We explain clearly and logically why these actions are the best possible. When challenged, we explain how potential organizational problems or concerns can be handled.

An emotional appeal connects your message, goal or project to individual goals and values. Link your request to a clear and appealing vision the other person can fully support. Describe the task with enthusiasm, and express confidence in the person’s ability to accomplish it.

Of course, to make an emotional appeal you must have some relationship with and understanding of the person you’re appealing to. A misguided or uninformed emotional appeal can backfire. Generally, an idea that promotes a person’s sense of well-being, service or belonging has the best chance of gaining support.

A cooperative appeal builds a connection between you, the person you want to influence and others, to get support for your proposal. Working together to accomplish a mutually important goal means you’re extending a hand to others in the organization. It is an extremely effective way of influencing. Building cooperative connections may involve collaboration (figuring out what you will do together), consultation (finding out what ideas other people have) and alliances (drawing on whoever already supports you or has credibility you need).

Click here to view a video that explains building trust and becoming a trusted advisor.