Chapter 3

The Dynamics of Influence

The “advisor” aspect of “trusted advisor” serves a critical business function: fulfilling the promise of providing expertise in a way that makes a difference. Effective advice-giving is part art, part science, and mostly nonrational. How we listen to others matters much more than what we say. This paradoxically has the result of making others more likely to listen to us. The act of listening itself creates relationship and trust. This chapter explores three steps to being more influential. It also offers a five-point checklist for influencing meetings.

Have you ever had the experience of not having your advice taken? Let’s say you are very confident about your advice—you know the right thing to do on a given issue. Let’s even say that you are, in fact, right. You advise your partner to do the right thing, and … your partner chooses another option.

It may even happen to you on a regular basis (especially if you have teenagers at home). To understand why this happens, we need to look more closely at the interplay of trust and influence.

Trust and influence go hand in hand. The more someone trusts you, the more likely he is to be influenced by you. The less someone trusts you, the less likely he is to be influenced by you. In the business of advice-giving, it is not enough to be right—you have to earn the right to be right.

In the business of advice-giving, it is not enough to be right—you have to earn the right to be right.

Earning the Right ...

Get The Trusted Advisor Fieldbook: A Comprehensive Toolkit for Leading with Trust now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.