Let me share with you some significant knowledge I learned from this “Effective Influencing Skills” course and how it is interesting to me.

Firstly, to influence people, we should take general steps through “GRIPS” model. GRIPS are 5 steps to influence someone (Gather intelligence, Reduce resistance, Induce control, Position, Sustain position). After discussion in teams, some trainees thought the technical skill had to be top priority to become influencer because we are working in technical field. This is one common mindset, but it is not correct. Mr. Garry, the facilitator, explained that technical skills are only first level management while the middle and top management level are people management and conceptual competencies. The 1st teamwork activity is closed with the conclusion: “The technical skills have helped you grow, now much, much more is required. You need to be strong at influencing”.

RVC Managers attending Effective Influencing Skills Class at Duxton Hotel on 23 Mar. 2016

Secondly, we need some skills to influence people, including: Strategic listening, Good communication habit, Building relationship with stakeholders, Define the dependency map. However, “reality is reality” and “Only fight the battle which you can win” is the advice from Mr. Garry to notice that, failure in influencing someone must be accepted sometimes because their TOM (Top Of Mind) is hard to change.

RVC Managers enjoying delicious lunch at Duxton Hotel during lunch break

Thirdly, Mr. Garry explained that, before negotiating, you need to define the strategy: who will be easy to negotiate, who will be tough to influence… Then, in the limited time, you try to “fight” the easy target first. This meaningful game opened the next lesson: Influence strategy. To understand the Influence strategy lesson, we are requested to make the questionnaire to figure out about our influencing style. There are 4 styles:

  • Assertive Persuasion: influencing like “Mike Tyson”, always “knock-out” the people by using logic, fact, opinion, ideas to persuade others.
  • Reward & Punishment: “black and white” influencing by using pressures and incentives to control the behavior of others.
  • Participation & Trust: influencing people by listening actively, drawing out contribution from others and showing the understanding and appreciation when contribution is forthcoming.
  • Common Vision: always try to draw the bright vision (although sometime, the vision is difficult to implement)

Each style has its own advantages and disadvantages. However, human usually has 2 “Operating System” (OS): head (logic) and heart (emotion). So, the effective way to influence someone is “attack” to both of their OS by applying “Participation & Trust” style.

RVC Managers receiving certificates of Effective Influencing Skills Class

In conclusion, this class is very amazing, not only has the practical content, but also the attractive teaching method of Mr. Garry through lots of interactive teamwork activities. Surely, it will be very useful for me in the real work to influence my peers, team members, and managers.

Thuan Le
Group Leader
Software Engineering Division