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Introducing our 5-week series: Influencing when not face-to-face

Posted by on August 8, 2011

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Now that you know how to overcome objections during an influence encounter, and you’ve mastered our 3 easy steps to improving your overall influence skills, you should be prepared for another type of influence situation: Influencing when not face-to-face.

Influencing when Not Face to FaceMore and more of our business interactions and relationships are being managed at a distance. It is not unusual to have clients, suppliers and teammates spread across the globe. Successful influence is founded upon clear communication–and communication only really occurs when the recipient has received and understood our message. This article suggests some ways in which we can positively influence people, even when we can’t speak with them face-to-face.

We influence others through the actual impact we have on them, not through our good intentions. Research has consistently shown that our impact comes as much from the non-verbal components of our communication as it does from the words alone. One of the difficulties we have when seeking to influence someone when not face-to-face is that the non-verbal part of our message is either diminished, or completely nonexistent.

Another essential ingredient of successful influence is flexibility of style. The most effective non-face-to-face influencing media are those that give us a chance to see how the other person is reacting to what we are saying, such as video conferencing. This provides us with verbal and fairly good visual feedback so that we can adapt our style and behaviour appropriately.

But life isn’t perfect! Often we are forced to influence over the phone, by email, and even by letter! Over the next 5 weeks, we’ll take a look at the impact that non-face-to-face interactions have on your influence effectiveness.

Where to start?

Positive Power and Influence is a model of positive influencing behaviours. This model describes the styles and behaviours you can choose to employ when seeking to influence others and build or maintain a positive relationship. The model also describes the key components of communication:

  • the words you use
  • the music you employ – how you use your voice
  • your “dance” – how you use your body, gestures and facial expressions

You really can have successful “virtual” influence encounters! Please join us next week as we talk about influencing over the telephone.

Contact CGWA

Angela Steatham is an expert trainer for CGWA. Based in the U.K., she delivers the Positive Power and Influence program throughout Europe.

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