Why The Best Advisers In Organisations Lead Alongside

Why The Best Advisers In Organisations Lead Alongside
SHARE
THIS



Bryan Whitefield (pictured below) is an independent management consultant who speaks to, facilitates for and mentors executives in organisations to increase their influence and improve decision making. He is the author of Winning Conversations: How to turn red tape into blue ribbon. In this guest post, he says too many managers go for ‘quick wins’ over having a sustainable long-term approach…

Leading alongside. That’s what the best advisers in organisations do. You can’t dig it out of the ground, fly it, design it or deliver it for them. What you can do is lead them to make the best decision under the circumstances because they heed your advice.

Screen Shot 2018-09-17 at 4.58.03 pm

Unfortunately, often due to expediency, we use our authority to get things done. You get a short term win, however, influencing is both a short and long term game. The smartest advisers play the long game and lead alongside. People who lead alongside build truck-loads of trust. And trust is what is required for you to have the impact on the organisation you know you need to make.

In his seminal 1984 book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, Robert Caildini introduced his six principles of persuasion:

  • When someone gives us something, we want to return the favour. This is a fundamental human response.
  • Commitment and consistency. People like to show they are consistent in their actions. For example, if you can persuade someone to take a small action to protect the environment, they are then more likely to not act in a way that would harm the environment.
  • Social proof. We look to others for confirmation on what we should be doing or liking. Think fashion, music or management trends.
  • Liking. If we like someone we are much more likely to listen to them and do as they wish.
  • Authority. We are more likely to comply when urged by an authority figure.
  • Scarcity. We don’t like missing out, which is why retailers use promotional tags such as ‘limited stock’.

If you take Caildini’s six principles of persuasion and consider them in terms of advising stakeholders in your organisation, you will see that there is a hierarchy to the six principles that you can apply to your influencing skills. Think about them in terms of push vs pull strategies.

Push strategies

Push strategies are about imposing your will through direction or instruction. At some level, however subtle, force is involved. And if you know your physics, you know every force has an equal and opposite one, where force meets resistance.  Consider these push persuasion principles:

  • Authority: Having authority is definitely an advantage when seeking to persuade. Yet everyone is accountable to someone, and authority alone can’t be relied on in all situations. Some people resent others imposing their authority and while they will usually comply, they may do so with little goodwill.
  • Scarcity: Creating scarcity, for example through limiting your availability to provide your advice, may drive people to seize the chance to hear your advice but can leave them with a less than positive attitude towards you, as you have forced their hand.
  • Social proof: If you have developed a good reputation people are more likely to listen to you, but they are not necessarily compelled by what you say.

Pull strategies

Pull strategies are about motivating, sharing, informing, encouraging people to listen to you and follow your advice. Consider these pull persuasion principles:

  • Reciprocity: It can be as simple as shouting someone a cup of coffee, buying them a cake or sending them a link to a video they would appreciate. Doing something good or nice for someone inspires them to return the favour. Taking it a very large step further, giving them sage advice is a gift they may gain immeasurable benefits from.
  • Commitment and consistency: Rather than providing advice that asks someone to go the whole way in one big step this is about starting small, showing value and building step by step.
  • Liking: Take Cialdini’s likeability one step further. Make yourself “desirable”. That is, be both likeable AND make your advice as likeable as possible. If they like you and the picture you are painting of a future they desire, and if you have the credibility to convince them you can take them there, they are very likely to follow your advice.

Advising is about influencing a stakeholder’s decision. Nothing more, nothing less. The importance of great advice cannot be understated. Despite what we know about the causes of poor decision making such as our unconscious biases, we still accept uncomfortably high levels of poor decisions. As reported in an article by Dan Lovallo and Olivier Sibony in McKinsey Quarterly, a 2009 global survey of more than 2,200 executives showed that “only 28 percent said that the quality of strategic decisions in their companies was generally good, 60 percent thought that bad decisions were about as frequent as good ones, and the remaining 12 percent thought good decisions were altogether infrequent”.

The role of the strategic adviser in organisations is as important as ever. Play the long game, lead alongside and increase your influence and your impact on key strategic decisions.

Please login with linkedin to comment

advisers Bryan Whitefield

Latest News

Commercial Radio Australia Develops Amazon Alexa Skill For Listeners
  • Media
  • Technology

Commercial Radio Australia Develops Amazon Alexa Skill For Listeners

The commercial radio industry has announced the launch of the RadioApp skill for Amazon’s voice assistant, Alexa. The new skill is designed to make radio listening simpler and more convenient for Aussies, who can now ask Alexa to play any of the country’s 300 AM, FM and DAB+ digital stations by name or frequency. The […]

Radio Buying Moves To Second Phase As Industry Eyes Programmatic Opportunity
  • Advertising
  • Media
  • Technology

Radio Buying Moves To Second Phase As Industry Eyes Programmatic Opportunity

The commercial radio industry has announced it is moving forward to phase two of an industry-wide project to automate and simplify the buying of radio. Phase one has resulted in the roll out of the AudioNET automated holding software RadioMATRIX. The industry-wide system, live since October 2017 and paperless since July 2018, is now used […]

Radio Industry Announces World-First “Super Pilot” For Audience Measurement
  • Media

Radio Industry Announces World-First “Super Pilot” For Audience Measurement

Commercial Radio Australia (CRA) and global market research firm GfK test the measurement of radio listening using a combination of diary and electronic meters in the first half of 2019. CRA chief executive Joan Warner said the initiative would be the largest-scale radio audience measurement pilot study using diary and electronic monitoring ever undertaken in […]

Radio Networks Unite To Grow Aussie Podcast Industry
  • Media

Radio Networks Unite To Grow Aussie Podcast Industry

Commercial Radio Australia (CRA) has announced it will establish a Podcast Working Group comprised of all major radio players, including the ABC and SBS. Announcing the initiative at the Radio Alive 2018 national conference in Melbourne today, CRA chief executive Joan Warner said the working group would be charged with developing an all-of-industry podcast strategy, […]

Digital Asset Management Solution Collaboro A Natural Fit With Open Data Initiative
  • Technology

Digital Asset Management Solution Collaboro A Natural Fit With Open Data Initiative

Digital asset management solution Collaboro claims its offering is a natural fit with Adobe’s, Microsoft’s and SAP’s new Open Data Initiative, as more organisations centralise their data on a single platform to improve their customer management and improve marketing performance.   According to Warwick Boulter (main photo), co-founder and CEO of Collaboro, a leading full-service solution for managing enterprise-level […]

Burger King Claims Its Hideous-Looking Halloween Burger Will Give Diners Nightmares
  • Campaigns

Burger King Claims Its Hideous-Looking Halloween Burger Will Give Diners Nightmares

Typically, eating a Whopper burger gives you heightened cholesterol and a bad dose of indigestion, but Burger King’s latest creation is set to give diners nightmares – quite literally. The new Halloween burger to be released in the US is nightmarish enough, with a green bun, bacon and and what appears to be deep-fried chicken […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Tourism Campaign: Self-Confessed “Boring” Nebraska Declares “It’s Not For Everyone”
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns

Tourism Campaign: Self-Confessed “Boring” Nebraska Declares “It’s Not For Everyone”

How do you attract tourists when, let’s be honest, your home state’s just a bit boring? That was the dilemma facing US midwestern town Nebraska which, due to a lack of things to do, was facing a visitor shortage on top of being voted the “least likely state” tourists planned on visiting. Hence, its new tourist catchphrase, “Honestly, it’s […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
APN Outdoor Boss James Warburton To Exit
  • Media

APN Outdoor Boss James Warburton To Exit

After less than a year in the role, APN Outdoor CEO James Warburton will leave the business following the completion of its acquisition by JCDecaux. The Federal Court of Australia was the latest regulator to give the JCDecaux-APN Outdoor deal the green light, announcing its approval to APN shareholders yesterday. Warburton joined APN Outdoor in […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Six Tips To Getting Your Opinion Heard In Meetings
  • Opinion

Six Tips To Getting Your Opinion Heard In Meetings

Michelle Sales (pictured below) is a leadership speaker, coach and trainer and author of The Power of Real Confidence. In this book extract below, Sales offers her tips to make sure your voice gets heard at any meeting… It was Eleanor Roosevelt who once said, ‘You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
How To Foster A Culture Of Creativity
  • Opinion

How To Foster A Culture Of Creativity

Emma Bannister (pictured below) is the CEO of Presentation Studio and author of the book Visual Thinking: How to transform the way you think, communicate and influence with presentations. In this guest post, Bannister offers her top tips to get the creative juices flowing… Many of us wrongly assume that to be creative, means to […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine