Influencing Skills Course

First day of the workshop.

0900    Coffee on arrival

0910    Welcome people to the event. Explain my role as facilitator and that we will all learn from each other. We can do this by listening, sharing ideas and experiences and offering and accepting feedback. Decide the rules on confidentiality. If you have any concerns, please tell me.

0915    Discuss why you are at this workshop and what you want to get from it. Also express any reservations or concerns you may have. List wants and concerns. Ask for comments and insights arising from their homework.

0930    Respond to both. Show how the design can meet these needs or modify it if required.

0940    Listening skills are vital for successful influencing. What does the best listener you know do that is helpful? List good practice.

0955    Teach the group the “open systems” process to clarify where the participants want to exert influence.

1010    Participants draw their “Maps” and share them in the group. Everyone chooses one or more issues they would like to pursue.

1100    Break

1115    Work in pairs, taking turns, on your issue. Listeners help your partner to decide whom, specifically, they want to influence, or negotiate with, and what outcome would be desirable. Discuss how you might go about it.

1150    Review the pair work. What did the listener do that helped? What was the effect of listening and being listened to?

1200    Outline EDICT, which is an Influencing Skills framework, to the group. It aims for win/win solutions that both parties feel good about!

Entry, or Building Trust, by listening, responding to the others style and seeking common ground.

Diagnosis, or Understanding the Situation and the Person, by listening, questioning, summarising and suspending judgement.

Intervention, or Floating Proposals that add value by offering actionable ideas based on your diagnosis and developing them by discussion.

Contracting, or Tying-up the Loose Ends, by agreeing the details of what will happen and who will do it.

Transition, or Following Up, by reviewing the learning from the work and how to extend it.

1230 Review of morning

1245 Break to reflect and lunch

1400 EDICT continued

We would illustrate the above by brief discussions, demonstrations and exercises. These would relate to the issues you raised in the Open Systems diagnostic exercise and your work experiences. If there is time, we could see how you could use the work so far to plan an influencing strategy for an issue you think is important. This could be an issue you all think is important or individual issues

1630 Review of today. What have you learned? Any other comments? Brief you on the next day of the workshop.

1700 Close.

Second day of the workshop. This could be four to six weeks after the first to give time for people to practice their learning from the first day. The design will reflect our experiences of the first day’s work.

  • Participants talk about their experiences of influencing since the last workshop. What worked? What were the problems? What do you want from today? Check the design fits your needs and adjust it as necessary.
  • Practical sessions in support group(s). Each person has a turn as trainee to discuss a real influencing or negotiating situation. He or she then decides what to do and may play out the situation with one or more members of the group. After each situation we will extract learning about influencing and/or negotiating from the participants and the group. The focus will be on what trainees do well and what we can learn. We want to build your skills and your confidence.If we need additional theory, exercises or demonstrations, then we will offer them.
  • Review and planning. What have you learned from these workshops? What has been good about them? How could we improve them? As a group discuss what, if anything, you want to do to continue your learning in this area? What will you tell your colleagues about it?

If you would like help using this idea, or have any comments or questions please contact me. Thanks, Nick