A classic case of win-win. This morning, as I booked a courier online, I noticed the option to select ‘drop at post office’. Clever – I don’t have to wait in tomorrow for the collection, the parcel is on its way a day earlier, and the courier has one less pick up in his already busy day. Everyone is happy.
This is just one example of how win-win solutions are woven into our day to day lives: look around you! The branded sports players providing the clothing companies with marketing; BBQ food discounted at the supermarkets in the hot weather; contractors rewarded with a bonus if they complete a project on time – I am sure you can think of many more examples, which show how advantageous a truly beneficial supplier-customer/ business-business partnership can be.
One of Schroder’s High Performance Leadership Behaviours is ‘Influence’ and it can be very powerful, having a positive impact on individual, team or organisational performance.
So what is influencing?
- It is the art of developing ideas and solutions that are mutually beneficial.
- The ability to affect another’s attitudes, beliefs or behaviours.
- Persuading without using exertion or force of formal authority.
- Allowing the ‘influencee’ to believe that they are acting in their own best interests.
What are the benefits?
- Strategic alliances, joint goals and shared interests which foster a positive climate of co-operation rather than domination or imposition.
- It builds confidence and excitement for the project or goal
- The formation of alliances to ensure long-term buy in.
- Socialised power (as opposed to centralised around one or a few people).
How to Influence?
- Define the situation and identify the goal.
- Identify who needs to be influenced and determine what makes them tick. The High Performance Behaviour ‘Empathy’ plays a key part here as it is vital to find out what is really important to the other party.
- With this knowledge the next step is to work out the most appropriate way to get their buy-in, and to know which skills or behaviours are best to employ: reason, friendliness and bargaining are primary strategies. Back up strategies include assertiveness, higher authority, coalition or sanctions.
“Work today gets done in an environment where people don’t just ask “What should I do?” But “Why should I do it?” To answer this question effectively is to persuade.” Harvard Business Review
Empathy and Influencing are two of the behaviours that we rate and coach at my360plus. For some more information please contact us.
We’ve been working with Professor Harry Schroder’s High Performance Behaviours (HPBs) for a long time now so it’s hardly surprising that we tend to ‘see’ examples of the behaviour regularly in every day life.
Yesterday, for example, Sir Terry Leahy, ex CEO of Tesco plc, was on Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs and his interview was littered with potential examples of HPBs. We say ‘potential’ examples because there wasn’t enough hard evidence in the interview to confirm that he’d used them (Kirsty Young isn’t an accredited HPB consultant, after all!). However, the success of Tesco under his leadership is undisputed, so there’s a high chance that he did use the behaviours consistently at a high level.
Here are the examples. The HPBs are in italics:
Discussing his leadership style:
Developing People: “I tried to coach people to get the best out of them.”
Building Confidence: “I always wanted to make people feel better about themselves to build their confidence.”
Proactivity: “I was relatively quiet, I think, as a leader. I didn’t use to send lots of memos around, or emails, and that was unsettling for some people. But they came to understand that I was trusting them to do their job.”
On the Tesco Clubcard:
Information Search:” Loyalty cards … allow you to understand more about a person so you can offer the products, services and information [to be] more useful to that person.”
Influence (continuing from the Information Search comment above): “In that way, if the person can see something useful, personal, helpful in some small way, it gradually builds loyalty.”
Presentation: “If you think about a doctor, they have to know something about the patient in order for them to do their best work. The more you know about a customer – how they shop, when they shop – you can do a better job for them.”
Influence: “You can either do good or bad [with customer knowledge]. What you have to do is be careful that you’re actually creating things that are beneficial to them, that you’re not manipulating the customer.”
Customer Action (When challenged that surely a company is there to ‘reward its shareholders and make money… having its shareholders’ interests at heart’): “The best organisations do put their customers at the heart and I think we were able to persuade our owners, our shareholders that the best way for them to get a return was by improving shopping for customers.”
We’ll be following Sir Terry’s next ventures with interest.