I’ve been helping leaders, sales people, and individual contributors develop and strengthen their ability to influence for 24 years. The motivations behind the companies and individuals that reach out to us for help with influence are varied — some people want to improve their ability to give presentations no matter their audience, others struggle with a confident delivery, and still others struggle with organizing their thoughts. They all know, however, that in order to effectively drive results and impact decisions, the ability to effectively influence is crucial to their success and growth.
Today, as I’m preparing for our next ‘Maximum Influence‘ public workshop, I’m reflecting on what I’ve observed over the years to be five common myths subscribed to by some portion of every incoming class that we are able to bust when they experience our proven process.
‘I just need to give people the facts, and they’ll buy-in’
This myth is especially prevalent among the more analytical attendees. They initially resist the importance of making an emotional connection and the impact of tone and body language. It isn’t until they watch and evaluate other participants that they come to understand how important it is to go beyond presenting the data. They learn specific strategies to deliver their facts and data in an engaging and memorable way that ultimately gets buy-in.
‘I know stories are important, but I don’t have any to tell’
There is ample research and countless articles on the power of story when influencing. People aren’t surprised to hear this when they attend, but I often find that they are intimidated by incorporating stories. They frequently say they don’t have any. That simply isn’t true. Everyone has stories; they just don’t think they are worthy of sharing. It isn’t until they experience Maximum Influence that they learn how to easily incorporate relevant short stories into business presentations. As they listen to others do the same, they always walk away saying that learning to tell stories is one of their biggest takeaways.
‘I love presenting, so I know I’m good at it’
Loving presenting and being influential are two different things. We’ve all listened to people comfortably ramble on only to leave listeners struggling to find the point. Attendees who come in believing this myth are typically surprised to discover that they are less effective than they think they are. It is through the experience of constructive feedback that they come to learn that their message isn’t clear. These participants typically attend already possessing several strengths that make them look comfortable in front of a room, and they leave knowing how to add a clear, concise message to round out those strengths.
‘I don’t know what to say’
This myth leads to people to waste a great deal of time preparing. The problem isn’t that they don’t know what to say; it’s that they don’t know how to say it. That’s why we teach a proven writing methodology to help people organize their thoughts clearly and concisely. Participants often stumble the first time they apply the methodology, and by the end of the session, they say they can’t imagine preparing any other way for presentations, meetings, and individual conversations. We regularly hear from Maximum Influence graduates that they cut their preparation time down by as much as 75%.
‘I’m not naturally charismatic, so I can’t be a speaker’
Most people who attend Maximum Influence need to influence in a business environment; they don’t need to be a motivational speaker. It doesn’t matter how introverted someone is when they come to the workshop. They learn through this course experience how to increase their energy, conviction, and ability to keep people engaged while staying true to their natural style.
Whether you need to influence your team to get on board with a change, influence leadership to back an initiative, or even get funding for a project, we can help. Join us at one of our public workshops, where you’ll strengthen this important competency in a small group setting and gain insight from people outside of your company.
Are you looking to improve influence in your entire team? We will come to you and deliver a customized, tailored experience where everyone on your team will develop the ability to influence and drive results.
I’d love an opportunity to answer any questions on how we can help you or your team with Influence, Leadership, Emotional Intelligence, Building High Performance Teams, or other ways we can help you succeed. Contact me here or call Dr. Heather Johnson at 651-322-7821.