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Strengthen Your Influence and Get Respect for Your Ideas

Updated: Jan 9

Do you ever find yourself answering a question or giving a suggestion in a meeting, and then a few minutes later someone else says the same thing and everyone thanks them? Do you want to strengthen your influence and communication?

I had to learn how to do this in grad school. I would be called on, give my answer and all the reasoning behind it, and the professor hated my answer. He would ask for others to answer it, they would rephrase what I said, and he loved it.

I got so angry, but to pass the course, I started answering in the high-level summary fashion that others did, leaving out all the supporting evidence for how I got there. Although the professor stopped calling on others after me, it felt so false, so much like kissing butt.

But one day, something changed: I started thinking differently. I started seeing nuance and detail while communicating at the higher-level. At that point, I became the professor’s favorite.

How did I make this transformation? When I coach my clients, I explain it as I started focusing on and communicating the what and the why instead of the how.

  • I added Why does this conversation even matter? How does it tie to larger organizational objectives?

  • I added What am I suggesting? How does this address these larger organizational objectives?

  • I eliminated how my suggestion would be implemented, where my data came from, and similar details. I still knew these, but I didn’t share them unless there were follow up questions.

Think about how you communicate. What do you focus on? How is it received? What do others focus on? How are they received? What may be a change you could experiment with to strengthen your messaging?

I coach people on improving their communication all the time. If you’d like a free consultation, you can book one here:

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