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Exercising Influence: A Guide for Making Things Happen at Work, at Home, and in Your Community, 3rd Edition by B. Kim Barnes

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Appendix CMeeting Processes That Support Effective Influencing

We Have to Start Meeting Like This

Since so much influencing takes place at formal or informal meetings (virtual or face-to-face) at work, at home, or in your community, following are some suggestions for designing meetings for effective two-way influencing. If the outcome of the meeting is to be a decision or set of actions that will require the commitment of participants, it's especially important that each person have an opportunity to influence the end result. Too many meetings are designed to avoid engaging people in discussion about decisions that they will have to buy into and implement. This only lengthens the overall process.

  1. If you are the person calling the meeting, spend some one-on-one time conferring with other key stakeholders (those who have something to gain or lose by the outcome of the meeting) and get their ideas as to what should be on the agenda, who should be invited, time—or time zone—place, and other details.
  2. Send out the agenda or let participants know in advance the topics that will be discussed. That way, those who like to think before they speak out (mainly the introverts among us—whose thoughtful comments may be lost otherwise) will have a chance to prepare to influence others at the meeting. This tends to increase engagement and shorten the meeting, because people will come prepared. In addition, establishing topics in advance can prevent the situation that arises when someone who did ...

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