Influencing, collaboration and networking

Influencing, collaboration and networking

Leaders constantly have to influence others and all effective influencers cultivate collaboration.

Effective influencers work to form productive relationships that enable all involved to reach mutually beneficial goals and solutions, and in today's organisations, productive relationships are increasingly built through networking.

To persuade others to accept your ideas or point of view, you need to present a clear case that matches their need, and resolves any problems and conflicts that may arise.

These tools and resources are designed to help you find sensitive and effective ways to engage colleagues and other stakeholders, as well as to establish productive relationships and achieve common goals.

  Check the hints and tips section for practical input to your conversations.

Keep in mind

Match the tool to the task

  • Effective influencers build a clear case for persuasion. Use SPIN approach to influencing to prepare your own persuasion case.
  • Collaboration is improved by having a shared understanding of objectives. Use Setting team purpose to clarify what the group is expected to accomplish, how progress will be measured and what problems they may need to address.
  • Collaboration also requires we accept and proactively manage conflict. Use Analyse how you resolve conflict to understand your preferred conflict management style and learn when to use different styles.
  • Use Suspending assumptions - Ladder of inference to work out how to avoid making assumptions or 'jumping to conclusions' that can lead to conflict.
  • Build your personal influence plan with Build your networking plan.
  • In life there are things we cannot control, use What's in my control? to help you focus on areas you can influence and expand your circle of control..
  • Use the Develop a clear change message or Develop an elevator speech tool to form a clear message about what you do or want to do, so you can easily share it with others.
  • We all come across difficult people from time to time and often have to deal with their negative behaviour. Use the Dealing with difficult people resource to plan strategies to turn negative behaviour around.

Related policies and links

Further reading

  • Influence without Authority,  Allan R. Cohen and David L. Bradford (2005)
  • The Power of Persuasion: How we’re bought and sold, Robert V, Levine (2006)

Hints and tips for conversations

  • Identify the interests and concerns of those you wish to influence.
  • Be aware of other people's responses to your communications.
  • Don't miss the clues that tell you that your approach is not working.
  • Don't continue with a suggestion regardless of the affect it is having on others.

Designed and developed for the London Leadership Academy by Heather Schoenheimer Consulting, in conjunction with the Royal Free London Foundation Trust OD Department