Are You Aware ???? Secrets to Influence through Space

Silent Influencing

Are You Aware ????  Secrets to Influence through Space Changing Difficult Settings

There we go again, no raise. If only I knew how to get it right this time!

Jennifer – the client doesn’t agree to our terms – how can we influence him to sign the contract? Robert – there is no way the team will follow you – maybe you can show some leadership? Sounds familiar?

From the denizens of corporate cubicles to the ever distressed home business owner all the way to the supply chain, engineering, development, finance and marketing departments – knowing how to influence can greatly impact your results.

Let’s review for example the following scenario:

Let’s revisit the situation of a tough colleague, who assumes a hostile, close position and is unwilling to join, collaborate, open up, and so on. Realistically, we are not always able to change such a position. However, there are tools and techniques to silently influence this scenario.

When I encounter a negative closed attitude where there is no cooperation, I appreciate that there is little use in continuing the interaction. Often, it is futile to work against powerful resistance. The first thing I do is slow down, take a breath and observe the process. Breathing is a very important and often neglected remedy to overcome challenging scenarios. Awareness of a situation is heightened when we offer ourselves the possibility to take the time to notice our breathing. As we are focusing on our breathing, we magically loosen up and build our personal support, which increases our perception and option for viewing the situation with a new point of view and heightened empathy. This in turn, enhances our propensity for influence and leadership.

I might then ask an open-ended question. I avoid asking a yes/no question such as: “so do you agree with the proposed solution?” I also refrain from asking: “WHY don’t you agree?” WHY is a problematic word, as it carries a hint of blame to it and would intensify the conflict. I use softer framing with the word HOW, such as: “HOW would you suggest continuing now?” Or alternatively: “can you offer us your perspective?” And even: “I would like to receive your view on the solution.” By stating what I want, I lead by example and create an opportunity for others to do the same. Many decision making meetings are at an impasse, as everyone is doing what s/he thinks should be done rather than stating what s/he would like to achieve.

Sometimes, to overcome an impasse, I might carry out a shrewd move and offer the resisting colleague an object such as a pen, a document, a paper during the meeting to influence his/her chosen closed position physically. This can result in him/her opening his/her folded hands, or shifting forward in his/her chair. Also, my leaning forward toward him/her will create some physical response in him/her. The change in the outward behavior changes the inner attitudes, just as surface behaviors generally are a reflection of inner feelings.

To overcome an impasse, I might carry out a shrewd move and offer the resisting colleague an object such as a pen, a document, a paper during the meeting to influence his/her chosen closed position physically.

Silent Influencing Michael Nir Impass


Influencing Through Surrounding Space

Notice how you use the space around you!

  • An object on which you place your hands on, at is as though you claimed ownership for. Pay attention where your hands wander.
  • A meeting table is virtually divided into personal zones. These zones are maintained zealously. Make sure you aren’t crossing the lines.
  • Alternatively, it can also serve as an opportunity to move away from negotiation stalemates and conflict situations by reorganizing the physical setting as the meeting progresses and no decision is reached.

King Arthur knew about personal space and seating hierarchies and opted for a round table.

  • Sometimes, better decisions are reached away from the formal meeting table with the long rectangle heavy mahogany.
  • A low circular table in the lobby or sitting in a corner can yield better results.

Observe your personal office space;

  • Can you imagine how guests and colleagues feel there?
  • Experiment with changing the physical surrounding.
  • Change seating arrangements often to increase the opportunities for silently influencing.

Want to learn more about Silent Influencing? Silent Influencing – Employing Powerful Techniques for Influence and Leadership  available on Amazon Also in Print

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