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Project Manager : Project Manager Feb Mar 2014
www.aipm.com.au Project Manager 15 TELL A STORY The five simple steps to guide our approach to influencing others could almost be mistaken for a customer service model, a consulting model or even a communication model. They are not exclusive to any one task, and they are applicable in most situations, depending on our perception. There is one big difference that is important to this influencing arena, however: how effective we are in conveying our compelling perception. We all love a good story. We have long been telling stories to share information and history, and storytelling is still a large component of how we learn as children and as adults. It makes sense, then, that if we can embed storytelling in our approach, it will assist us in being effective communicators. This is because: • A story has a natural flow from scene setting, identifying the problem, identifying the hero or solution and, finally, the resolution where success was achieved. • When someone is telling us a story, we are less likely to interrupt and are usually willing to listen to the end. • A story allows us to raise points that may be considered as bragging. In a story though, we are just relaying what occurred and are therefore given a little latitude. • Regardless of how good at storytelling we are, the other party will interpret it based on their experiences. This offers opportunity to understand their perspective, as well as making it essential to understand their experiences and position. trust that allows our stakeholders the exibility to alter their perception to meet our ow n. is is a risk on their part, and tr ust is required before any element of risk will be entertained. 2. Understand Conversely, stakeholders will not o er an olive branch to someone who cannot or does not understand the world as they see it. It is important to be listened to; it provides a sense of ownership. Taking time to listen and understand the other party goes a long way to developing a sense of ow nership in them. It also allows you to unearth those key elements that are vitally important to them, and you might just alter your ow n stance along the way. 3. Create or leverage desire It is logical that, now we have established the rst elements of trust and connected with a stakeholder emotionally, and we understand the underlying reasons that inform their perception, we can o er alter natives or variations that will deliver their desires. To be successful at this, we need to promise to deliver what they want. If you can do this, they will actively support your endeavours. 4. Deliver the benefit is step is all about doing as promised and establishing credibility. It takes a huge amount of e ort and time to build trust and, as we know, only one unfortunate instance to lose it. 5. Confirm satisfaction It is not su cient just to deliver what is promised. We must close the loop and check back with the other party, ensuring that they know we have delivered. If we do not check back with them, then we leave it to chance that their perception of our success is the same as ours. W hen there is an element of chance involved, the opportunity to in uence in the future may be hindered. is step also presents a great opportunity to build the relationship further. With the rst elements of tr ust now cemented, bigger and better opportunities are allowed to mature. From the three key elements of in uence -- understanding, why and empathy -- to a simple ve-step approach to in uencing that covers many other areas such as communication, consulting or customer ser vice, there is no denying that our ability to in uence others is a skill and, if we desire to be more e ective in our professional lives, one that requires development. In very simple ter ms: give them what they want, but give it to them on your terms, and you're almost there. •••
Project Manager Dec Jan 2014
Project Manager Apr May 2014