“Do me a favor.”
Keep that phrase in mind when thinking about how to get people to do what you want (without them even realizing it).
That’s what being influential is all about – and that’s what so many CX leaders need. Most companies don’t have big CX teams, so we need to persuade other people and teams to engage and join our efforts to create a customer experience that provides us a competitive advantage.
Most of us don’t realize the influence we can wield without any supervisory position, but some age-old guidelines can help. Think Dale Carnegie. That’s right – go old school.
Mr. Carnegie originally published his book, How to Win Friends and Influence People, in 1936, but the advice still applies. See his Fundamental Techniques in Handling People below:
- Don’t criticize, condemn or complain. Human nature does not like to admit fault. When people are criticized or humiliated, they rarely respond well and will often become defensive and resent their critic. To handle people well, we must never criticize, condemn or complain because it will never result in the behavior we desire.
- Give honest and sincere appreciation. Appreciation is one of the most powerful tools in the world. People will rarely work at their maximum potential under criticism, but honest appreciation brings out their best. Appreciation, though, is not simple flattery; it must be sincere, meaningful and with love.
- Arouse in the other person an eager want. To get what we want from another person, we must forget our own perspective and begin to see things from the point of view of others. When we can combine our desires with their wants, they become eager to work with us and we can mutually achieve our objectives.
These ideas definitely shaped two of my five suggestions for how CX leaders can become more influential: “find your allies” and “make everyone else look good.”
When you get frustrated with not making as much progress as you’d like, revisit Dale’s wise words. Perhaps the simplest piece of advice he offers is this: appeal to someone with the term “do me a favor” as opposed to directly asking for something which does not offer the same feeling of importance to the recipient of the request. I use this – it works. Do me a favor and try it out.