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Ep #2: Influence, Persuasion, and Presence: The Tools That Will Grow Your Power

 

Mastering The Power Skills with Kathy Dockry | Influence, Persuasion, and Presence: The Tools That Will Grow Your PowerIf I told you there were simple tools guaranteed to grow your personal power and make things smoother for you at work, wouldn’t you want them? Last week, we discussed what power means and how cultivating it in the workplace is truly accessible to anyone, and in this episode, I’m showing you how.

Whether you feel like a complete beginner when it comes to increasing your capacity for power, or you already feel adept at the skills necessary for having impact and influence in your environment, this week, I’m sharing three tools guaranteed to have you gracefully gliding through the complex dynamics of the workplace so you don’t feel stuck or outpaced by others.

Join me on the podcast to discover three tools that are guaranteed to grow your power and a quick guide to the difference between each of these skills. I’m showing you why exercising these skills will make for an environment where you and your ideas will be taken seriously, and how having these tools in your toolkit will make you so much more successful faster.

We’re celebrating the launch of the podcast here, and I’d like to include you. I’m going to be giving away AirPods Pros to five lucky listeners who follow, rate, and review the show. Find out how you can enter here!

 

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • 3 tools that will grow your personal power.
  • What each of these tools means in the workplace.
  • Why you need these three tools for increasing your personal power.
  • How you’re currently signaling who you are and what you stand for to other people.
  • A simple framework for thinking about the skills of influence, persuasion, and presence.

 

Listen to the Full Episode:

 

Featured on the Show:

 

Full Episode Transcript:

 

 

Well, hi there, my friends!  In our last episode, we explored the question of…just what is power anyway? We discovered a simple and helpful definition that makes it clear that power in the workplace is accessible to anyone.

 

And we ended up with something of a call to action. That call is: If you want to make a difference…in other words, if you want to increase your win rate when you pitch your ideas and initiatives…then you need to increase your personal power.

It’s really just basic cause and effect…. the more power you have, the more you can make things happen.

 

It’s at this stage that talented clients often say to me, “That makes complete sense…. and I want to get started on growing my power. So how do I get started?” I love this question because the answer is not all complicated—it’s very clear. Here it is……there are 3 tools that will grow your power. They’re the skills of influence, persuasion and presence.

 

And the reality is that anyone can grow these skills and see a big impact, no matter what your current level is. Do you feel like a beginner? Well, there are some very simple tactics you can start out with that will make it easier for you to win support and persuade others.

 

Or perhaps you already feel pretty adept at these skills. Well, imagine how much faster and more successful you could be in pitching your ideas or making your case if you have a few more techniques and strategies in your tool kit. We’re going to be covering all these tips, tactics and strategies in future episodes of this podcast. Just trying a few of them will make your work life better.

 

And if you make listening to this podcast part of your normal routine, your work life will be more than just “better.” You will start to become a ninja in your ability to exercise the power skills of influence, persuasion, and presence. By that I mean, you’ll become one of those people who gracefully glides through the complex dynamics of the workplace vs. getting stuck or outpaced by others.

 

But before we get to all that good stuff, let’s get clear on what each of these 3 skills are. I’d like to give you a simple framework for thinking about influence, persuasion and presence so that when we’re talking about each of these categories in future episodes, you already have an understanding of these terms and aren’t scratching your head over the difference.

 

And by the way, if you’d like to have a simple infographic that captures these definitions, be sure to check out the link in our show notes.

 

So, let’s start first with the concept of influence. The dictionary defines influence as “the capacity to affect others by intangible means.” It’s not the actual act of affecting others. It’s having the capability to affect them.

 

Translating that to the world of the workplace, when you increase your influence, you are creating an environment where you are more likely to affect the decisions and behaviors of others.

 

You’re creating an environment that makes it more likely that your ideas will be heard and that they will be accepted and supported by others. Notice that I said influence is about creating an environment. When you’re working on building your influence, you’re not lobbying for a particular idea. You’re instead working on your reputation and on how other people perceive you.

 

Now, just exactly how are you doing that?

You might be adding to your credentials. You might be reinforcing your title and role. You might be growing your expertise. But the most important thing that you’re doing—and the thing that we’ll explore more in future episodes—is that you are cultivating and strengthening your work connections and your work relationships.

 

When you’re building your influence, you’re actively and intentionally growing the the trust, respect and goodwill that other people have for you. When you’ve done that, you’ve created an environment that makes it easier for you and your ideas to be taken seriously.

 

So now let’s take a look at the skill of persuasion. When you’re trying to persuade, you’re doing something much more specific than creating an environment.

The dictionary defines persuasion as causing another person to do something or to believe something through reasoning and argument.

So, in the work world, this is a common activity, isn’t it? You have an idea or a point of view, and you want others to support it. In order to do that, you need to use the skill of persuasion.

 

Now, in the work world when we think about persuading someone, we often think about such things as data, logic, and best practices. Knowing how to marshal these things to support your argument is definitely a great and necessary skill to have.

 

But there is a treasure trove of additional strategies that you can use to become even more persuasive than you already are. And chances are, you’re not yet using many of them. You could be leveraging people’s emotions, for example, or finding new ways to link your proposal to the organizational strategy. You might restructure the organization of your presentation to increase its persuasive power or shorten or lengthen it depending on the audience.

 

There are a lot of tips and strategies that will increase your persuasiveness. But for now, your take-away should be that persuasion is the set of skills associated with convincing someone to do a particular thing or to have a particular belief.

 

Finally, what about that thing called “presence?” Presence can be a tricky and confusing concept to grasp. The dictionary definition of presence is “the bearing, carriage, and air of a person.”

If we go by the dictionary definition alone, we might think of presence as a superficial and unimportant thing. But in the work world, that’s not the case. Presence is the combination of all the big and little signals we’re sending out as to whether or not we are a person to be taken seriously.

 

We are sending those signals out all the time, by the way……whether we’re doing that consciously or not. It could be how we’re dressed. It could be our tone of voice or our posture. It could be behaviors that reflect our character like whether we act with courtesy or with integrity. And it could be the mindset and energy that we bring to the workplace. All these are different types of ways in which we are signaling to other people who we are and what we stand for.

 

In future podcasts, we’ll explore the dozens of ways in which we can be sending these signals. Wise leaders think very carefully about what presence they bring to the table, instead of shrugging this off and taking those signals for granted. They know how they show up will be noticed……and people will draw conclusions about that.

 

They want their presence…. their behavior, body language and mindset—to be consistent with what they want to achieve, not to be inconsistent and undercut them. With the right presence, they are sending the signal they want to send…. “I’m believable or I’m strong, or I’m trustworthy, and therefore my ideas are worth listening to.”

So, there you have it…. a quick guide to the differences between influence, persuasion and presence.

 

Influence is the environment you create in order for you to be taken seriously. Persuasion is the set of skills you use to have your idea be taken seriously. And presence is the combination of all those signals you send out through your behavior, body language and mindset as to who you are and whether that’s consistent with what you’re trying to do.

 

When we grow our influence, persuasion and presence skills, we make it easier for other people to understand the value of our ideas ……and therefore make it easier for them to agree with those ideas and support them. As a result, our win rate increases. And that, of course, is a very good thing when your goal is to make a meaningful difference in the world.

 

OK, my friends, we have a link for you in the show notes where you can get a nice visual summary of the influence, persuasion, and presence definitions. Be sure to check that out.

 

And I’m looking forward to exploring some specific tips and strategies with you in the coming weeks of this podcast. See you in our next episode!

 

We’re celebrating the launch of the podcast here, and I’d like to include you.

 

I’m going to be giving away AirPods Pro to five lucky listeners who follow, rate, and review the show. Now, of course, you don’t have to give the show five stars, although that would be awesome and I do hope you love what you’ve heard so far. But I’d also love your honest opinion and feedback as well as your questions so I can create a show that’s a valuable resource for you.

 

So visit significagroup.com/podcastlaunch to learn more about the contest and how to enter and I’ll be announcing the winners on the show in an upcoming episode.

 

Thanks for listening to this episode of Mastering The Power Skills. If you like what was offered in today’s show and want more insights and resources from Kathy, check us out at www.significagroup.com.

 

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About the author

Kathy Dockry is the Managing Director of Significa Group LLC. Our clients are CEO’s, senior management executives, functional leaders, and fast-rising high potentials in complex organizations. Significa helps them hone the leadership, influence and navigational skills that takes their career success to new levels and brings meaningful change to their organizations. www.significagroup.com.