Think about the word ‘influencing’ for a moment. What image springs into your mind? You might think of a famous stage hypnotist character, making people do things they wouldn’t normally dream of doing (barking like a dog perhaps), just for the amusement of others. However, whilst the ability to mesmerise colleagues or senior managers into doing whatever you ask them might sound tempting, particularly around the time of your annual pay review, this is not influencing, it’s manipulation; in others words using tricks and techniques to make people agree to things that are fundamentally not in their best interests.

When we say that influencing is a key skill for a professional, we are indeed referring to the ability to ...

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