Influencing Skills: What Unsuccessful Talented People Lack
By Rowen Untivero
 
“Some managers and employees are very talented and with good driven attitudes but still fail in organizations, particularly when they have to get superiors, peers and external parties to help realize his or her agenda. Despite having industry technical expertise and business acumen, what are the top reasons for their failure?” Evelyn- HR
 
Hi Evelyn, there can be a multitude of reasons for managers and employees to fail despite possessing talent and being driven. Albeit, let us focus on a critical yet frequently neglected skill: the ability to influence others. Most people are unaware of this skill. Curiously, people blessed with a higher level of emotional quotient (EQ) find ease in observing others, being sensitive to the context at hand and subsequently employing some sort of personal art in influencing others. Where sprouts the challenge is in result duplication and poor replication by colleagues mimicking art without anchorage on framework. Therefore, what needs to be injected is the science of influencing that maps the dynamics among various components involved.
 
ANATOMY OF INFLUENCING
 
Influencing snugly resides on a sweet spot between the use of power and reliance on charisma. At the extreme, it may somehow seem coercive while on the other end of the spectrum, it borders on persuasiveness. In reality, it is neither forceful nor too soft. In expert’s hands, influencing skills is a hybrid between opposing methods that can be calibrated. That is why it is so appealing and effective.
 
APPLICATIONS OF INFLUENCING
 
There is a vast array of applications of influencing inside and outside of organizations; for sales & buying, customer service, various alliances, co-marketing, co-opetition’, management and in  striking productive harmony within organizations particularly by bridging interdepartmental collaboration. Likewise, politicians, religious leaders, educators, military personnel, law enforcers, lawyers, managers and leaders of private institutions and almost everyone else in this world can make use and benefit from dexterous use of influencing skills. Needless to say, mastery of influencing skills spells boundless advantages over rivals.  Even in the situational absence of competition to outdo, influencing skills serves to increase counterpart buy-in probability and can be used to speed up the process.
 
SKILLS INVOLVED IN INFLUENCING
 
Generally there are two clusters of execution skills. The first includes the ability to read contextually and holistically verbals, tones and body language. The second involves, personality profiling, calibrating one’s use of verbals, tones and body language deliberately aligning with contextual considerations and communication intent. When both clusters are effectively executed, interaction becomes fruitful and with the least negative strain on relationships.  Unfortunately, reading meanings beyond words has been a neglected skill by the majority of human beings, ever since verbal language has been developed, and even more now that there is universality of a handful of languages. Nonetheless, words account for just a small percentage of total communication. Tones and body language comprise the greater part, yet the ability to read them has been reduced to just disturbing murmurs of the gut when communication of one’s counterpart seems inconsistent. Not surprisingly, those who relearn as a human being how to read more holistically words, vocal variations and actions relative to observable baselines and situational context, are able to understand much fuller what is really being communicated or perhaps being obfuscated by the other party. Clearly, this equips the user of holistic and contextual reading an obvious advantage over those who are incapable of such a feat. The good news is that, this skill is now being taught and has the effect of opening one’s third eye not to see ghouls and the departed, but to comprehend what is really meant by one’s counterpart during discourse or subject of observation. But it does not stop there. To be really effective, one must learn to communicate back consistently across words, tones and actions and more importantly, to calibrate all these relative to personality profile of the target recipient of such communication.  This requires being conscious of one’s inconsistencies and rectifying them to avoid miscommunication.
 
 
CONCLUSION
 
By understanding and acquiring influencing skills, talented and driven managers and anyone else aspiring for achievement gain a clear advantage in the race towards one’s success.
 
Rowen Untivero is a Partner and Chief Sales Strategist of Mansmith and Fielders, Inc., the country’s leading marketing, sales, strategy and innovation training company.  Rowen is the developer of an original Mansmith’s Framework on “The 7Cs of Influencing” as well as “The Mansmith 3D Language Wheel”.  He has been injecting much practicable science into sales management, negotiations, selling and general management for more than a quarter of a century. Please send your questions, comments or feedback to mentors@mansmith.net. You can also visit www.mansmith.net.