Course Outcomes

This communication skills course for managers will:

  • Explore the concept of influence and how leaders can leverage it.
  • Share ten actions people with influence regularly practice.
  • Explain the sphere of influence and levels of influence.
  • Review regular communication that should occur between managers and their direct reports.
  • Discuss how nurturing a network is an important part of influence.
  • Share best practices for effectively communicating in writing.
  • Offer suggestions for using analogies and stories to generate buy-in.

Course Overview

While a hands-off approach, bullying or coercion, or a lone-wolf attitude may work in the short term, leaders who rely on those tactics to manage their teams eventually find themselves drowning in dysfunction. This program focuses fundamental leadership skills and how managers can enhance their communication and influencing skills to lead their teams effectively. Course topics include the value of influence, the importance of goals, activities in which influential leaders engage, and how and where leaders find opportunities to influence others. The workshop also looks at adapting communication styles, generating buy-in, and presenting with confidence and credibility in both formal and informal forums.

Program Objectives

At this program’s conclusion, participants should be able to:

  • Explain influence and its value to leaders.
  • Describe the attributes people with credibility share.
  • Articulate goals for their team.
  • Identify ten behaviors they can adopt to immediately grow their sphere of influence.
  • Actively listen and use questions to build rapport, understand different points of view, and guide others’ thinking.
  • Adapt communication to different people styles.
  • Use such opportunities as one-on-ones, staff meetings, and coaching sessions to influence others.
  • Grow their professional networks.
  • Craft written communication to persuade and influence others.
  • Use stories and analogies to generate buy-in.

The following outline highlights some of the course’s key learning points. As part of your training program, we will modify content as needed to meet your business objectives. Upon request, we will provide you with a copy of the participant materials prior to the session(s).

Workshop Outline

Communicating to Influence and Persuade: A Starting Point

This training session begins with a discussion around influence and why it’s an essential skill for managers. During this opening conversation, we’ll explore positive and negative influence and how effective leaders leverage positive influence to persuade colleagues, clients, and direct reports to buy into ideas and take action. 

What’s Important: Knowing Where You’re Going

If you don’t have clear goals about your work and your team’s work, influence is somewhat of a moot point. This part of the course focuses on the importance of vision, goals, and expectations. Working through a series of exercises, group members will chart their present and their desired state. With that groundwork in place, we’ll then be able to talk about using influence to realize team goals and objectives.

Top Ten: What Influential Leaders Do Differently

Our next workshop segment focuses on ten specific behaviors people with positive influence routinely exhibit. From working with integrity and listening to coaching and empowering, we will examine how influential leaders work. During this part of the course, we will also look at circles of influence, the mathematics of influence, and levels of influence. Participants will consider their current landscape and set goals for growing their reach.

Connecting with Others: Understanding Different People Style

As the song goes, “It takes every kind of people to make what life’s about,” and that’s certainly true. There are a lot of different kinds of people, and what makes them tick can vary widely.  Consequently, in management, it takes skills to know how to influence and persuade the vast range of employees found in a typical workplace. This part of the seminar examines people styles and how to use knowledge of differences to adapt communication in order to influence others.

Moments of Influence: When and How to Do It

Influence is not an annual or even a quarterly conversation. It’s the culmination of a series of actions that should happen hourly, daily, monthly, and so on. In this part of the program, we will explore templates for the various activities in which managers should be engaged in order to influence and guide their direct reports and others: one-on-one meetings, coaching sessions, career-planning conversations, and meetings. Next, we will participate in role plays to learn best practices for each of those moments of contact.

You Helped Me: Let Me Help You

Growing influence is tied to walking the talk, growing people’s skills, and helping others get what they want. In this part of the program, we will explore the importance of opportunity finding and empowerment and how those two elements can increase a manager’s sphere of influence. Next, managers will consider their direct reports and the specific actions they should take to grow their influence with each when returning to the workplace.

Being Open to Influence: Growing Yourself and Growing Your Circle

Top influencers spend time growing and nurturing their networks. They understand that people are the critical element in growing their reach. This portion of the program looks at professional networks and their role in the influencing process.

Influencing from the Keyboard: Top Tips for Written Communication

A poorly written email is a credibility killer. This part of the program offers suggestions for building credibility and influencing others without the benefit of face-to-face or phone communication. During this part of the workshop, participants will discover actions they can take to bolster the effectiveness of their written communication.

Persuasive Presentations: Front and Center

Influential managers know how to present with persuasion. They use stories and analogies to engage their audiences and generate buy-in from groups. In this final segment, we will examine influence and persuasion from the platform and techniques participants can use to influence people during formal and informal presentations.

By the conclusion of this comprehensive communication course, participants should understand the value of influence to leaders and how they can use a range of tools and techniques to increase their influence and ability to persuade others.