Influencing Skills

Writer and trainer John Charlton takes an interactive approach with a DVD package on influencing skills

The late football manager Brian Clough was asked at the height of his success how he got recalcitrant players to do what he wanted. “Well, I invite them into my office and listen to what they have to say. Then I tell them what I want of them. Then we talk until they agree with me and that’s that.”

As an influencing method it worked because football clubs were – and some still are – almost military-like hierarchies, where influencing meant giving orders to people who were duty-bound to obey them.

Elsewhere, influencing is a key soft skill for managers and those who aspire to manage and make changes. And, if you are respon-sible for developing this trait among people in your organisation, Influencing Skills: Achieving Win-Win Outcomes, a workbook and DVD pack, is worth perusing.

The DVD is genuinely interactive and the work-book is A5 and wirebound, so it opens out flat and allows work-sheets and exercises to be torn out, if necessary.

I subjected the DVD to the ulti-mate test – my ailing DVD player – and it passed with flying colours. It asked questions, gave prompts, and commented on my answers.

The DVD mimics the workbook almost word-for-word and features the same exercises, so I would recommend that readers work through a chapter in the book and then do the same with the DVD.

The package is the first in a series of three and it comprises three chapters. Each is based on a work-place scenario involving stereo-typical characters and possible influencing-based outcomes. There are mini tests and, at the end of each chapter, summaries, exercises and learning logs.

My main gripe is some of the scenarios. Try as I might, I am not energised by the circle of influence in a biscuit factory. Next time, make it a football club in the 1970s.

Influencing Skills 1 costs £210 for a single-user workbook and DVD.

Balance Learning: 01453 769601

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