At wolf & heron, we create experiences to empower leaders at all levels. We’re especially passionate about developing leadership among those without formal power… and that really all comes down to the skills of influence.
The thing about influence though, is that we can’t go it alone. An individual is not influential in a vacuum. An individual is influential by having an impact on someone else, by persuading someone, or by winning someone over. If influence were an equation, there’s the influencer (what (s)he does/says/thinks) and the audience, the person or group the influencer is trying to impact, typically by changing what they do, say, or think.
Given all that, how should you, as an influencer, consider your audience? What do you need to know about them?
The most common advice would be to develop an understanding of where your audience is coming from so you can speak to and frame your story in their context. While that’s a good start, it’s not enough. In our workshop, The Super Powers of an Influential Storyteller, we discuss how having true influence also means that your audience likes and trusts you.
Think about the people in your universe that you need to persuade, and ask yourself these questions. They’re designed to help you think about what’s important to your audience, AND how to expand on how much your audience likes and trusts you:
- What does your audience care about?
- What’s your audience’s perspective on the issue?
- How does your audience feel about you today?
- How might you remove any hesitance, fear, and distrust from the relationship?
- How much do you trust your audience? How could you build trust?
- How could you share with them or display some kind of authentic vulnerability?
Given all that, how should you think about and pursue your objective in a way that respects your audience?
-- Kara Davidson, cofounder, wolf & heron