Engaging employees and stakeholders
Change is best created by a movement, not a mandate. To create a movement, you must inspire people to adopt change because they see the benefits and believe it’s important. You also need to understand their resistance and what they fear about change, as building enthusiasm and overcoming fear takes time.
The most critical skill is getting people to willingly do what you want them to do. To achieve this, you must understand the different motivations and the preferred communication style of the people you are trying to influence. Then you have to explain the ‘why’ in a way that connects with them.
According to Geof Cox’s book ‘Getting Results Without Authority‘, people have preferred influencing styles they rely on for whoever they are talking to. In order to influence others, you have to understand your preference, their preference and work out how to align the two.
Take this survey to discover your preferred style.
The four style characteristics are summarised below:
Then you have to think about the preferred communication style of your audience and adapt your style for them. Ask yourself:
- why would they want to get on board, and how can you address their specific needs in this situation?
- what is in it for them?
How to adapt to different styles:
The Empathy Tool will help you understand your different stakeholders. Apply this to a project you are working on now. Complete the grid for each of the groups of people that you want to engage and inspire.