for making an impact at meetings
1 Plan and prepare what you want, what you are going to say, what their likely objections might be, what strategy you are going to use, and what questions you are going to ask. What is your desired outcome?
2 Listen to the other side .No …really listen…and demonstrate that you are listening. You have then earned yourself a hearing from them
3 ‘Sell the benefits’ of your idea appealing to their responsibilities and their goals. What is in it for them?
4 Offer people options all of which are favourable to you. This is called the alternative close
5 Remember that logic and rationality doesn’t always work. You need to appeal to other things like their sense of values
6 Make sure that you convince others not just with what you say but how you say it (voice tone and body language!) Be passionate and convincing without sounding too emotional and out of control
7 Remember that people will judge you not just on the quality of your argument but …how you make them feel. No-one likes to be proved wrong, or feel manipulated, brow beaten or rail roaded.
8 Look for common ground. What makes them tick? What are their priorities and values?
9 Be flexible – appeal to different personality types
10 Be prepared to negotiate and ‘give’ a bit
11 Be aware of your timing – it is right? Maybe we can just ‘plant seeds’ at this stage?
12 People will always be suspicious so try and be as honest as you can about your goals
13 Some passion but a lot of energy will go a long way. No matter how strong your argument, if your heart isn’t in it, this will detract from your end result. If you appeal to an emotion this may also help your outcome.
14 Try and be aware of the impact that you have on others ..try and encourage trusted friends and colleagues to give you feedback
15 Reframe what the other side is saying and build upon their ideas
16 Prepare the ground. Get as many people on your side as possible before any key debate, interview, vote
17 Disarm any anger professionally by listening carefully, summarising what they have said and try to find something in what they have said that you agree with
18 Two or three good arguments are far more powerful than a long list of them
Avoid the top six most common mistakes
- Not preparing
- Not listening
- Ignoring the win –win approach
- Using intimidating behaviour
- Arguing instead of influencing
- Acting too passive/avoiding any conflict at the expense of a favourable outcome