Driving Results Through influence. In today’s world, you often have to manage services have outsourced to third parties and may be offshored, or you work in a virtual or matrixes organisation where people work remotely, or you have to lead people where you do not have direct control over them.
This is a difficult situation, especially if you started your management career like I did, where the only people managed are in the same building or even office. So how do you lead teams where you don’t have direct contact or control.
So how do you lead teams where you don’t have direct contact or control?
Well, the only way to do this is through influence.
One of the easiest ways of influencing people when you don’t have direct control over them is through expectation setting.
It has been proven that teams and individuals will often rise to meet the expectations that are set for them.
If you tell them that you expect them to succeed this increases their probability of succeeding, whereas if you tell them, we think that they will fail, you often create a self-fulfilling prophecy.
When you set a positive expectation, it also puts us into a position accountability, as you will feel bad if they teams fail and you will look to help them if you can. It also put the team into a position that, if they feel that you can help, they will come to us to ask.
So if you find yourself in the position where you don’t have direct control over the teams that you are dependent upon, then try and exert some influence by communicating clearly that you are very confident that they will succeed, and that if they need any help from you, they should feel free to ask.
Personally, I have had very positive experience with this approach.
With one of the suppliers at a company where I consulted, we were having significant performance issues, and the teams had tried everything to get the supplier to improve their quality and productivity, but nothing worked, there were some small improvements but not what we were looking for.
So we decided to take the approach that we would show that we had confidence in them to turn things around and that we believed that the issues would be resolved completely within six months.
What was unbelievable was, that six months to the day, all issues had been resolved.
By showing confidence in the supplier, we put them in a position where they had more belief and confidence in themselves, and they looked to ask for support where they needed our help, which helped drive improvements.
Previously, they were embarrassed about their performance and tried to hide failures rather than communicate them early and get our help.
By expectation setting, we had helped to turn around a failing situation.
We had managed to influence their performance even though we had no formal authority over them.
I have used this approach multiple times since then and have had a lot of success with it and I highly recommend it.
Like you, I would have been sceptical and would never have thought that influence through exception setting would work, but it does work.
If you want to learn more about delivering results your influence, just deliver better results email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will look to set up a complimentary strategy session to see how we can help you.
I’m going to try and influence you by assuming that you will email me for a successful session 🙂