Influencing capability is something that clients often ask me to help them with. Sometimes an individual leader makes the request on the back of a promotion. And they recognise the requirement to make a greater impact.
Other times it’s a team request. And they ask me to help them become better influencers as a peer group; so they can work better together and become exemplars for their management teams. The overarching objective of course is to add value to the bottom line whilst minimising the risk.
Sometimes, as a precursor to this we have to take a step back and consider the credibility of a particular director or manager. Where this is lacking, especially in a member of the senior management team, then the organisation faces trouble ahead. That is until you take action to resolve the issue.
Typically the individual concerned doesn’t realise that their colleagues do not respect them or trust them. Hence this situation is challenging for a business to deal with. And yet, everyone else can see it – direct reports and team members; peers, business partners and customers. Increasingly these stakeholders become frustrated at the manager’s lack of insight; especially when they appear reluctant to do anything about it.
The first step in establishing credibility is to encourage them to become accountable for their decisions and their actions. If they already listen to feedback and own their mistakes, chances are they won’t be in this situation in the first place.
Influencing your peer group is difficult at the best of times. And the individual concerned may not know what you are talking about. Moreover, they’re less likely to take feedback from a peer or a subordinate.
At times like this there is huge value in offering them some Executive Coaching; even if it’s only to move them to a point of recognition and understanding.
Remember, the influencing capability of your leadership and management teams is of fundamental importance; particularly if you’re serious about sustainable growth and profitability. Without it the best employees leave and you’ll still have to deal with the fallout from those who are causing chaos around them.