Unlock your potential to influence higher-ups and boost your leadership skills with these five proven strategies. Make your voice heard and drive positive change in your organisation.
Influencing higher-ups is an essential skill for successful leadership, impacting not only yourself but also the leaders you aim to influence and the overall organisation. Being able to influence without relying on authority is a critical skill that can make or break your career. Here are five ways to effectively influence up without resorting to political manoeuvring:
- Drop your agenda and pick up theirs: Instead of focusing on why your proposal benefits you or your team, consider the advantages and risks from the perspective of the person you’re trying to influence. Understand what’s in it for them and tailor your pitch accordingly.
- Communicate in a way they like, not how you like: Adapt your communication style to suit the preferences of the person you’re trying to influence. For example, a Driver wants quick, concise information, while an Analytical leader requires research, proof, and process. Observe and consider their communication preferences and adjust your approach accordingly.
- Ask yourself who and what do they listen to: Reflect on who has successfully influenced the person in the past and how they approached it. Consider enlisting the help of key stakeholders or presenting information from sources that the person deems reliable.
- Outline the risks of inaction: From their perspective, consider the risks of not adopting your proposal. Present the risks in a way that resonates with their communication preferences, whether it’s through data and research, market competition, or employee engagement.
- Let go of the outcome and focus on what’s within your control: Sometimes, despite your best efforts, you may not succeed in influencing up. Reflect on your behaviour, planning, and approach to learn and improve for future attempts.
By mastering these techniques, you can become a more effective leader and successfully influence those in higher positions of power within your organisation.