The Formula for Influence: Know – Like – Trust
As change management practitioners, we are responsible for supporting employees during an
organizational change. We need to be constantly vigilant about how change decisions impact people and in turn, how people will respond to those decisions, so we can support the transition from current state to future state. But, we can’t read minds and we can’t force people to change, so how then can we be most effective in our role?
In a word – Influence.
And here are the key components that make someone influential, particularly in a change management
role. If you are finding that managing change is more difficult than previously thought, you may want to
review the following for ways to increase your influence and/or identify additional resources in your
change initiative who can lend their influential voices to your project.
- Does everyone on the project know who you are and why you are involved? Do they all
understand what change management is and how you will be supporting the project?
- If the answer is no, you may want to reintroduce yourself along with other key project
members and create a Roles & Responsibilities matrix (an example is a RACI matrix) to
demonstrate where you and other members fit as it relates to the change.
- This one can be quite personal and requires some introspection. Does your personality
and the way in which you interact with others leave them feeling good about working with
you? Do you present more solutions than problems? Do you take accountability for your
own actions? Do you check-in with your colleagues and project team members to see how
they are doing, or do you focus solely on the business at hand?
- If you are unclear whether you can tick the box of likeability, ask for candid and
constructive feedback. Just the act of asking for this type of feedback increases likeability
by showing you care enough to learn and grow. Warning: before you ask for feedback,
make sure you are willing to change and improve or don’t ask at all.
- Trust is the final stop on the path to influence. However, just because people come to
know you and like you does not guarantee they will trust you. Trust takes time to build
and only comes from doing what you say you will do.
- For change management practitioners it is imperative that we speak up when we
anticipate or encounter issues, provide solutions and guidance on resolutions and provide
transparency up and down the organization.