Are you an INFLUENCER?

Use the survey below to assess your influence skills. The questions examine methods you use to help others change. To get the best results, think about an influence challenge you’ve faced or now face, and answer the questions with that in mind.

1. Focus and Measure

  1. As I try to influence change I take a lot of time up front to ensure everyone is very clear about and committed to the results we are trying to achieve.
  2. To help others stay focused and excited about the change we’re undergoing, I share frequent measures that demonstrate our progress.
  3. To ensure that we’re not encouraging people to continue with their old, unhealthy actions, I remove or modify measures that drive the wrong behaviors.
  4. To help achieve challenging goals I help others break long-term goals into daily or weekly milestones that encourage steady progress.

2. Find Vital Behaviors

  1. When trying to influence others, I am very clear about the specific behaviors that people need to change rather than relying on vague values or generic qualities I hope they’ll adopt.
  2. I make sure we reduce the list of possible actions to the two or three that will produce the greatest amount of change and improvement in results.
  3. I ensure everyone agrees on the two or three behaviors that need to change in order for us to achieve the results we want.
  4. I take frequent measures of these key behaviors, as well as results, to see if my influence efforts are working.

3. Help Them Love What They Hate

  1. Whenever possible I invite people to try out and test new things rather than use authority or pressure to compel them.
  2. I go beyond business and economic arguments to help people see the moral imperatives that call for change.
  3. I avoid giving lectures or logical arguments for why others should change and instead tell compelling stories that illustrate the human and moral reasons that call for change.
  4. I find creative ways to engage people in direct experiences (field trips, pilot programs, simulations, etc.) that will help them feel differently about the need for change.

4. Help Them Do What They Can’t

  1. I spend time offering coaching, hints, tips, and practice opportunities to those I am trying to help change.
  2. I invest as much time and effort in ensuring others have the skills and abilities they need to succeed as I do in trying to motivate them to change.
  3. I help others develop skills in ALL the areas that may be required—including the social, emotional, and interpersonal skills and not just the technical, physical or mental skills they need.
  4. I create lots of opportunities to help people practice new skills under safe but realistically challenging conditions.

5. Provide Encouragement

  1. I make sure those around me see clear evidence that I am willing to sacrifice a great deal (ego, time, money, or other priorities) in order to demonstrate my sincere desire to create change.
  2. I carefully identify opinion leaders and create a specific strategy to get them involved in encouraging others to change.
  3. I make sure people in positions of authority teach, model, praise, and coach others toward the new behavior.
  4. I create an environment where everyone is encouraged to hold everyone else accountable for the new behavior (including myself)—irrespective of level or position.

6. Provide Help

  1. I make sure that others have timely assistance whenever they run into roadblocks trying out the new behaviors.
  2. I identify the toughest moments or biggest obstacles to change and make sure that people have others around them to help with these challenges.
  3. I create safe ways for people to get help without feeling embarrassed or being put on the spot.
  4. I provide everyone with the authority they need to step up to new behaviors.

7. Change Their Economy

  1. I put much more effort into sharing the moral, personal, business, and other reasons to change than into trying to reward or punish people into changing.
  2. I ensure that our formal reward and discipline systems encourage rather than discourage people around trying a new behavior.
  3. I make careful use of small yet thoughtful rewards to encourage people who make early attempts to change.
  4. I use formal rewards to encourage not just the right results, but the right behaviors to get those results.

8. Change Their Space

  1. I use visual reminders, regular communications, and metrics to keep the need for change visible and “top of mind.”
  2. I make sure people have easy access to the tools, information, and resources they need in order to adopt new behaviors.
  3. Where possible, I redesign the physical space of those I’m trying to influence in order to make good behavior easier to remember and to do—and bad behavior harder.
  4. Where possible, I change the physical environment (moving people or things closer together or farther apart, organizing work flow, etc.) in ways that make the new behavior a more automatic part of the natural flow of life or work so people do the right thing without thinking.