How to improve influencing skills online


It’s not always easy. It can be hard work influencing others, getting the type of buy-in that leads to action. At times it can seem effortless when done by those who seem to have a natural knack for persuasion. When it’s done effectively it doesn’t seem like its being done at all.

Contrary to our observations and possibly the self awarness of the influencer, there’s often a lot of work that goes into effectively influencing others. One of the largest misconceptions about influence is that it is an innate quality that some people possess, and others do not. This is not the case. Influence is very much a skill. One that can be taught, practiced and refined.

Meet Jamie. Jamie is a marketing coordinator in a multinational telecommunications provider. She’s incredibly skilled and loves her job. She often observes her colleagues and is in awe of their ability to persuade clients, senior leaders and each other. After consultation with the head of her department, and the learning and development team, a collection of participants have been assembled to engage in Influencing skills training.

Jamie’s organisation has in fact already partnered with a learning provider that offers influencing skills training. They are aware of the personal benefits this type of training can provide individuals who are trying to improve their buy-in. They are also aware of the organisational benefits that stem from training their team in this area.

Of late, many internal and external influencing conversations within Jamie’s organisation have been occurring virtually. This has introduced the need for not only face to face influencing skills but also influencing skills online, organisation wide. Jamie and her organisation are noticing more and more the frequency with which they and other organisations are connection online through platforms like Zoom and Microsoft Teams.

When it comes to influencing skills course in Australia, some providers focus on dated ill-intentioned practices that seek to break down relationships and cause friction withing functional teams. When you’re looking improve influencing skills online or face to face it’s always important to consider where the provider has sourced their content. Luckily there are many influencing skills courses in Australia that are designed to improve influencing skill online that don’t compromise existing or new relationships.

There are multiple providers of influencing skills training in Australia. However not all are focused upon how to improve influencing skills online. To ensure that Jamie and her team members are equip with most up to date skills, Jamie’s organisation have partnered with a training group who put emphasis on the following skills.

Develop a comprehensive, tailored strategy for influencing stakeholders both online and face to face.

A large part developing the skill of influence is ascribing to a well-defined, robust process and applying that process as regularly. It’s also important to ensure that you find a comprehensive tailored strategy that specifically targets your ability to improve influencing skills online, not just those interactions face to face.

Adapting to a process or strategy that is applicable to both face to face and virtual influencing conversations allows you to be prepared no matter what mode of communication you are using to seek buy in. There are only a finite number of influencing skills courses in Australia that focus on using a frameworks for both virtual and face to face influencing conversations. It’s best to be equip with the tools that allow you to improve influencing skills online and face to face.

Move beyond simply ‘arguing a case’ to a more constructive, value-driven approach

No one wants to get bogged down in a long and drawn-out argument that delays the completion of tasks and complicates new and existing relationships. It’s important to be able to engage in the process of creating value in your influencing conversations. That is to say creating benefits and options that are mutually beneficial. Not all Influencing courses in Australia consider this to be a priority. Less so with virtual influencing skills trainings online.

The benefits of taking a value driven approach far outweigh those approaches that are solely driven by individual motivations. Being able to successfully influence includes keeping the relationship intact and the person you’re seeking buy in from viewing you as a collaborator and not an adversary.

Structure influencing conversations in a way that is both concise and compelling

Influencing conversations whether online or face to face need to be both interactive and structured. Structure is something that is frequently overlooked in many online influencing courses. If we’re trying to improve influencing skills online or face to face it’s important to understand the distinction between how we structure a face-to-face influencing conversation versus an online influencing conversation.

For virtual influencing conversations it becomes incredibly important to spend time focusing on relationship. When we are online, we lose that sense of shared space, community and connection. Therefore, we need to improve our virtual influencing skills online by allocating more time for connectivity and relationship building.

Build their confidence to initiate and manage influencing conversations

The aim of many influencing skills course in Australia is to build confidence. One of the central aims of virtual influencing skills trainings is to build aptitude and confidence in unfamiliar settings such as a virtual meeting or presentations. Without doubt one of the most effective ways to build confidence and improve influencing skills online is through practice.

Consider Influencing skills courses in Australia that put a heavy emphasis upon activity and doing rather than theoretical discussion. People build confidence by doing, reflecting and doing again. The more comfortable they become, the more their confidence grows. Also look for online influencing skills courses that provide time for assessment and feedback. It’s important that participants feel safe and supported as they build new skills.

Develop a proactive strategy for building long-term relationships of influence

When it comes to influence, we want to build and manage our stakeholder relationships so their perceptions of us supports our ability to influence them. It’s incredibly important to nurture existing relationships and effectively build new relationships to make the influencing process easier in the long term.

Developing a strategy for long term relationships becomes about getting connected, developing a clear intention and measuring impact in any given relationship. Relationship management is one of the most important influencing skills. It should form quite a large portion of any face to face or virtual influencing skills training. To improve influencing skills online or face to face actively seek out influencing skills course in Australia that put an emphasis on relationship.

Identify and map the key stakeholders who could help or hinder their ideas or initiatives

Identifying stakeholders that could help or hinder your initiatives falls under relationship management. Utilising a clearly defined process to manage stakeholders, particularly for large scale initiatives allows us to anticipate potential issues. Although many face-to-face and online influencing skills courses do discuss stakeholder management, not all influencing skills courses focus on how to improve influencing skills online.

Ensure you partner with a training provider who understand the distinction between face-to-face relationship management and virtual relationship management. Although the distinction may seem finite to many, ensuring we can effectively jump between face to face an online stakeholder management only increases the likelihood of getting our initiative off the ground.

Where to practice in influencing online?

The answer is simple whenever you’re online. The cornerstone of any influencing skills training, online or face to face should be practice. We need to become more aware of the influencing conversations that stealthily pervade our days. Any face to face or online influencing skills courses should relatively early in their training draw its participants attention to how frequently influencing conversation occur.

Once participants notice the regularity with which these conversations occur, they can more intentionally practice skills from their face to face or online influencing skills courses.

How to improve each skill through practice online

If you have recently completed a face to face or online influencing skills course, to improve your newly developed skills you need to practice. It’s incredibly important to make time for practice. Without actively allocating time from our day or ensuring you hone and refine your skill, it’s hard to improve. Many providers of influencing skills courses in Australia offer coaching both virtually and face to face. Coaching allows for immediate feedback on your progress and provides a safe environment to test out new approaches and strategies.

Receiving coaching for improving influencing skills online is less about measuring the substantive outcomes of your influencing conversations and more about measuring your growth when applying new skills. Not all influencing skills trainings online will put emphasis on long term growth and improvement compared to short term gains. It’s important to choose an online influence skills course that doesn’t focus solely on result.

Where you can learn influencing online?

In light of global events, many providers of influencing skills course in Australia have transitioned their existing face to face programs to online. In some locations across Australia, you can still engage in face-to-face training.  However, developing soft skills like influencing others online is rapidly gaining popularity. Given that many individuals are influencing virtually, it makes sense to develop virtual influencing skills online.

If you’re looking to improve influencing skills online a great place to start is to search for learning providers. Learning providers will often share blogs, webinars and complementary virtual sessions on topics like influencing skills online.

Many training providers recommend texts, articles and even online clips to assist you learn a little more about the specific field you’re curious about.

You may also consider connecting with a mentor within your workplace. You may be surprised to find that one or more people in your office have already undertaken online influencing skills courses and might be happy to share their learning and provide advice on their experiences.

How virtual influencing workshop works and can help you

 A virtual influence workshop usually begins with exploring a recent or upcoming influencing conversation. All good virtual influencing skills trainings online should have participants understand a little about their predispositions when influencing others. From there a central process or framework is shared and applied to a personal example or a cleverly crafted exercise or case study.

As mentioned above it becomes important to develop and practice skills in the session. All of the best influencing skills courses in Australia ensure there is a fully qualified and engaging facilitator delivering their workshop.  Often the facilitator will be an expert in the field of influence and will be able to provide specialist coaching to each of the participants about their approach to influence and how to improve.

One of the central benefits of virtual influence skills training is that you can connect with an expert from anywhere in the world. More than this you can receive specific 1:1 coaching on how to improve your influencing conversations.

Virtual influence skills training can help you elevate the quality of your influencing conversations, build relationships and understand how to get the most out of your next conversation.

How virtual influencing trainings works and can help you

Virtual training works similarly to face to face training in that you learn and develop a skill. It does however differ in many ways and provides a multitude of advantages. Virtual training allows you to connect with participants from anywhere in the world. Practice your skills in private virtual rooms and receive direct coaching and feedback from the comfort of your office or home.

Virtual training takes place on an online platform like Zoom, Microsoft Teams or WebEx Meetings. A trained and experienced facilitator will guide you through any learnings and provide you with the tools and skills to develop and hone a skill.

The specific learning and subject matter can be laid out in an engaging and creative manner online, which helps participants to have higher retention of the ideas and content. Small videos, graphics and activities help to explain complex ideas in a very interactive manner, ensuring that every participant is able to thoroughly comprehend the subject matter.

The tools available for virtual learning – such as breakout rooms, digital whiteboards and polls enable participants to engage and contribute. Sessions are also able to be recorded. Virtual training offers flexibility.

Virtual training can help you identify your growth edges enable you to get the focused attention you need and succeed.

Conclusion

 We have seen rapid growth in the online learning space in the past few years. Almost suddenly we have interactive tools that enable us to learn from the comfort of our own home. Participants and organisations alike are experiencing first-hand the positive outcomes that can be achieved through virtual learning.

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