Thank you for responding to my quick survey last week. Really, I appreciate it, especially since I know the value of your time.

More importantly, I hope the topic of influence is high on your list.  This week, I’ll pass along some of the highlights from your responses. Next week, we get to work. Here’s what you told me:

  1. Two-thirds of you are working to influence Senior Management and your Boss, recognizing managing up as a key to success. The embedded power inequality, both real and perceived, is a sticky challenge.
  2. Two-thirds of you have a common need to create alignment of purpose across stakeholders. This requires not only understanding each person, it often demands assessing the relationships and dynamics between and among stakeholders.
  3. Over half of you identified a need to influence behavior change, patterns of action, or an innovation or change initiative. In these scenarios, what you don’t see, don’t know or assume are hidden issues—not to mention to sheer complexity of  individual or organization change.
  4. The Passive-Aggressive person was clearly the top personality type at issue, followed by the controlling or micro-manager.
  5. You expect people to be logical —will we never learn? At least now you know this thinking could be what’s in your way.
  6. You worry about the “right” way to approach the situation. Of course, there is no right way. You have to find the right “dance” with people. That means using your self-understanding and your observations of others— in an intentional way.
  7. Your top interest is in being able to adapt a strategy to a particular person. Good news! That’s a key part of the learning and what we’ll be talking about.

Thank you to those of you who offered some real influencing situations. I’ll be following up on those over the next weeks.