Top Tips on global influencing

An
organisation needs to approach situations from a different angle when wishing
to operate effectively in a global market. Paul de Zulueta outlines training
and development company MaST International’s top tips for success

Within
global organisations employees find themselves working with colleagues from a
variety of countries. If your company is based in just one country, it is still
likely that it will have clients and partners around the world. To succeed in
today’s business environment, employees need the skills to influence
colleagues, clients and partners globally. 
MaST’s top five tips for global influencing are:

Be
aware of cultural differences

The
key to successful global influencing is to take cultural issues into account –
nationality, ethnicity, education and international experience, for example. It
is important to develop an appreciation of how the other party will relate to
your cultural traits and how you will relate to theirs. If you do this and
treat the other party with respect, you will encourage cultural understanding
and create a ‘win-win’ relationship.

Build
relationships

Build
positive relationships with your target people you wish to influence.  You need to gain their trust and respect so
that your ideas have credibility.  When
working with global teams you need to make a conscious effort to establish
relationships, as you may not be in daily contact with your colleagues or
clients.  Keep use of e-mail to a
minimum, and instead speak regularly by phone.  Use videoconferencing if you have access to it.  Volunteer for cross-functional projects
which will enable you to work more closely with key people.

Use
your networks

To
be influential within a global organisation you need to be connected to other
networks and have access to information. 
Global networks alert you to forthcoming developments and help to
establish relationships.  Members of a
network will also form part of wider networks, providing further opportunities
for being seen and heard at work.

Customise
your influencing strategy

Each
situation will require a different influencing strategy. Complex strategies are
required due to the different cultural backgrounds in global situations
Indirect influencing can prove to be a valuable tool.  This method influences through third parties and involves
assembling coalitions and building behind-the-scenes support for ideas.  This allows you to ‘use’ other people’s
relationships with your target contacts and builds support for your idea prior
to the conversation in which you wish to exert that influence. 

Communicate
clearly

This
is critical if you are dealing with people whose first language is not your
own.  Ensure that you are communicating
clearly, and check back with your contact to verify that they have understood
what you said.

Paul
de Zulueta is a partner MaST International. For further information, contact
+44 (0)1628 784062,  www.mast.co.uk

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