How to get your boss on side Part 4: a true story

For those of you who have been following the story, you will want to know that Mark achieved his objective of securing the Executive Coaching to enable him to take his performance as a leader to the next level. The questions I asked him (see last blog post) removed the underlying assumption that he would not be able to remain calm and clear under pressure and argue his case.

The assumption was in fact just a story he was holding onto and which his subconscious was feeding him as the truth. Once he had the new story in place he was able to see new possibilities and act accordingly. These were some of the actions he took to pave the way for success:

  1. Having previously reflected on Jane’s need to link any new initiative to solid, measurable outcomes, Mark’s proposal focused on the likely benefits to the business. He led with the short-term impact and demonstrated how longer-term team engagement would translate into lower staff turnover and reduced cost.
  2. He mentally rehearsed his pitch. This included not only the words to use but also the state of mind he wanted to be in: calm, purposeful and energetic.
  3. He paid attention to his pace and tone of speech, making sure that he spoke succinctly and relatively quickly to match what he felt was Jane’s preferred style of listening.

In fact he encountered very little resistance from Jane and the conversation was relaxed. I was not lucky enough to be a fly on the wall, but if I had been I suspect that on some level Jane detected a genuine attempt from Mark to recognise the business issues and her need to balance out what the company needs right now as well as in the future.

How might you adapt your approach to communication to be more influential?

©Move Ahead Global 2011

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