Influencing Techniques: Bringing Systematic Thinking to a Big Picture Vision
Expressive and big-picture or intuitive thinking-centered types, or what we have called “Visioners” for short, are typically outgoing people who prefer to discuss ideas rather than facts and figures. They get enthusiastic about new ways of doing things and may get frustrated with discussions which concentrate on the past or focus on too much detail. Visioners like to see their ideas recognized and although everyone likes to receive feedback, Visioners will react especially well to positive and enthusiastic responses to their input and ideas.
Influencing the Visioner will require you to help guide their ideas and provide them with some ‘landing gear’ to bring those ideas down to earth. You will have to do this without seeming pedantic and without quashing the natural enthusiasm which they will bring into the discussion.
Some particular steps you can take with Visioners are:
- Don’t take the conversation back to past events; “we used to do it this way.”
- Add your own ideas to build on theirs.
- Allow the conversation to wander – your ideas will generally spark new ideas from the Visioner.
And in practical terms, all of the following approaches are likely to work well:
- Don’t use killer phrases for the Visioner such as “great idea – but how practical is it?” Instead, use phrases such as “great idea – this will get people thinking differently.”
- Match the idea to practical outcomes; “your problem solving method is terrific – could we incorporate it into our current systems?”
- Use encouragers such as “I can see what you are getting at” and “I can imagine it.”
- Encourage them to expand on their ideas; “it doesn’t sound far fetched to me… what changes would you implement if you had the chance?”
- Use metaphors to highlight points; “working together we would be like a couple of sheepdogs – it wouldn’t be long before the others would follow.”
The featured video clip is a short excerpt from the ReadyToManage, Rapid Skill Builder eLearning program, Influencing Others: An RSB eLearning Course.