Influence – The Power of Experience

Influence - The Power of ExperienceA change of view on influence

My training style went though a radical change after I met and studied with Mel Silberman, the Father of Active training.  

Mel is considered one of the greatest contributors to the field of adult training, has written many of the best selling books on training and had been a tireless advocate for “learning by doing”.

So why is this important to influence?  Well, with the thousands of books on influence, persuasion and sales, most of the focus is on talk or verbal persuasion.

Yet recent research has shown that one of the most power forms of influence is experience…allowing someone to actually have an experience rather than a verbal description (this is why demonstrations are so powerful).

Influence resources by the experts

In the video below, David Maxfield is the coauthor of Influencer: The Power to Change Anything gives a real life example of how experience influenced a change in behavior for an entire company:

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Change – Recognizing and Reframing Limiting Beliefs in Your Career

Stumbling on a change gem While looking for well written articles on change, I came across a little gem (with ballons no less) that addresses two of my favorite subject change (limiting beliefs) and careers. Payday Loan New Change can be dramatic and long lasting when a limiting belief is altered. Many people’s limiting beliefs … Read more

Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard

Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard ISBN13: 9780385528757 Condition: New Notes: BRAND NEW FROM PUBLISHER! BUY WITH CONFIDENCE, Over one million books sold! 98% Positive feedback. Compare our books, prices and service to the competition. 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed Why is it so hard to make lasting changes in our companies, in our … Read more

Can a Person Make Real Change?

Copyright (c) 2008 Dorothy Tannahill Moran

That’s a great question. At some point in your life, you have witnessed in yourself and perhaps others, attempts at making changes to their life which simply didn’t “take”. The range of changes is everything from losing weight to ending a bad relationship or smoking.

Whatever the example, we have all had an opportunity to experience what seemed like good attempts but for some reason, the good attempt failed. It can leave one to wonder if, at some point, we become too solidified in various behaviors to really change.

Let me set this stage by first saying: yes, we can and do make real changes all the time. I need to add that there is a bit of a process to it, but it’s not rocket science so it’s all available for us to do.

I usually end with a Pearl of Wisdom but on this topic this needs to be said upfront. If you are considering changing someone else: don’t. You only have control over yourself. You will only frustrate yourself and tick off the other person if you make them the focus of YOUR desire to change THEM. You need to work on acceptance, but that’s another article.

The process for change starts first with positioning yourself to find the need and desire to make a change. It’s like what you hear about addictions, you first must recognize you have a problem before you can start doing anything about it. Along with the recognition of the issue itself, you need to spend time truly analyzing how it impacts your life. You or someone needs to ask the tough questions like: How does this get in the way of accomplishing things you want to do? What would your life be like if this issue didn’t exist? How DOES this impact your life? It’s not enough to say “I’m over weight and I know I shouldn’t be”. You need to know at your core why it really is an issue. For this process step to be useful in spurring you on to action, you may need to research the issue by reading or talking to people. This is not a waste of time. Too often people will take a run at changing an issue, before they feel any real need to make the change. When it doesn’t work, they walk away wondering why or maybe rationalizing that “I knew it wouldn’t work”. Once you truly have internalized the need to make a change, it will help drive you forward to the next steps.

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Making Workplace Change Happen in Six Steps

Many organizations muddle through change. How is your organization progressing at implementing that new accounting system or moving to a new employee performance management process?

Are your managers nodding approval in public but sabotaging the initiative in private? Are your employees shell-shocked and just giving up? Do you have no money left over for post-implementation support?

Whatever change your organization is trying to implement, knowing about and working through the necessary steps will go a long way to making your change initiative a success.

I have distilled these crucial steps into a process model for change. The model is called the CHANGE Approach, with each letter signifying a step in the process. I have summarized below the key features of each step leading to a successful change transition.

Create tension
With this first step, articulate why change needs to happen and why it needs to happen within the planned timeframe. Many change programs start with a big bang, but then peter out ending in a whimper. Other programs struggle to develop the initial momentum. Think about the immediate force that will get your people moving in the right direction. This could be impending legislative changes, new entrants to the market, high levels of customer dissatisfaction, etcetera. Think also about the impacts of not changing, such as loss of market share or fines from regulators. To prepare your company for the impending objections, collect as much data as you can to back your assertions.

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Why People Resist Change

You are in the midst of implementing an important change in your organization and find not everybody is rallying around you. Some of the people you need are not translating their words into action or have refused outright to support your change effort. The executive sponsor who liked the idea of being aligned with a high profile, cutting-edge technology change program has failed to deliver the program budget he promised you.

Or the implementation of the performance bonus system designed to lift the take-home pay of low paid process workers has not convinced them to adopt the new system. You thought that you had hit people’s hot buttons and can’t understand their reluctance to support your change efforts. You now need to develop a deeper understanding of the motivators that drive the people in your organization.

Let’s consider more closely the performance bonus example mentioned above. In this case, process workers were promised a 5% increase in their pay if they increased the number of assemblies they produced by 30% over a one-month period. Bonuses were to be calculated and distributed based on each individual’s output for the month. The increase in productivity was only possible if the process worker learned and used the new computer controlled production machine.

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Tis’ the Season for Change

Deciding what changes need to be made may be the easy part. Communicating the change, and obtaining leadership and employee buy-in may be the greater challenge. With all the change that businesses face, you might think that organizations would know how to handle change and do it well.

What Do Statistics Show?

HR Magazine says that, according to a report by IBM entitled The Future of Banking, this is not the case. The report indicated that, even though the industry expected radical (emphasis mine) change, managing it was quite a different story.

15% said they were very successful at managing change.

32% said they were successful.

33% said they had some success.

15% said they had little to no success.

Research by the Corporate Strategy Board of Arlington, VA, agrees that change is not handled well by organizations, citing a 50% failure rate.

The banking industry is far from being alone in the churn of change. The hospitality industry has also endured its share of change because travel is one of the first perks given up in hard times.

“Going green” has become a mantra for business and citizens, but even it has experienced change in the form of lower prices in areas of recyclables.

Given the changes of the past year in the economy, politics and environment, organizations would do well to understand how to better decide, communicate and implement needed changes.

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Implementing Change

Step 1 – The Change Think Tank – Planning

Think & Reflect. The first step in implementing change is to stop and think before taking action. Sometimes the natural reaction for a business owner is to jump straight in and make immediate radical changes.

This rarely works. It’s best to block some time to plan the change either by locking yourself away at work for a few hours or actually driving to a neutral venue (park, cafe etc) away from your business premises. You need an unbroken focus to plan for change without interruption.

Map out your Initial Changes. Document a first draft of your changes. This should just be a summary and doesn’t need to look pretty. Make sure you jot down the steps required and likely timing. Note any major gaps or barriers that need to be considered in implementing the plan. Draft an initial time line you believe is achievable and a working deadline for implementation.

Seek input from Stakeholders & Advisors. Now you’ve drafted your plan alone, it’s time to discuss this with other stakeholders and advisors. Seek input from your stakeholders which include business partners, management, key employees and customers/suppliers (if applicable). Ask for feedback from your trusted advisors where appropriate. Ask them to be open and frank. Listen intently and don’t get defensive. Adopt a collaborative approach to planning for change.

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Influence Without Authority

ISBN13: 9780471463306 Condition: NEW Notes: Brand New from Publisher. No Remainder Mark. Product Description In organizations today, getting work done requires political and collaborative skills. That’s why the first edition of this book has been widely adopted as a guide for consultants, project leaders, staff experts, and anyone else who does not have direct authority … Read more