When I ask my executive coaching clients how much time they spend putting together business plans, they respond in numbers of weeks or months. But when they go into a meeting where it is critical for them to influence others, they wing it!
To influence effectively, prepare. Here are some key questions to think about as you prepare for interactions where you want to exert influence:
- Who will you be meeting with, and what are their perspectives on the situation?
- What do you want to gain from the discussion?
- What do they need to gain from the discussion, so that they will see the outcome as beneficial?
- Who are their key stakeholders, and how will they be impacted by the meeting outcome?
- What kinds of questions should you ask to get clarity on their needs?
- When they say no, how will you respond?