Influence Assessment

Assess your readiness to sell an idea, product, or service. See how ready you are to influence others or make a change in yourself.

Contrary to what some believe, increasing your influence is not a matter of raising your voice or being more charismatic. It isn't merely the result of having a great idea or possessing an impressive title. Nor is being influential reserved for those born with special talents or characteristics.

The secret to inspiring your team as a leader, selling products or services as a sales person, or persuading others to adopt a new idea in any circle of influence is the application of eight core principles of influence. They are the same principles you would use in influencing yourself to successfully complete a self-improvement initiative or in overcoming a bad-habit. These principles fundamentally enable persuasion - of others or yourself.

The core principles of influence take advantage of the rational and emotional parts of the human brain. They cultivate both the mindset and aptitude for change. They gently, but powerfully move people through the process of thinking and taking action. They promote confidence and sustainability. They are the principles that form the core of the art and science of influence. When applied properly, they enable results.

This readiness assessment steps you through questions regarding how well you are employing the eight principles of influence. Use it to gauge your general ability to influence others or as a tool in preparation for a specific presentation. Use it to guide you during a sales pursuit or as part of your preparation for a self-development initiative.

To begin, identify the targeted individual or market of your influence and state the specific goal you have in mind on which to apply this assessment, e.g. "Convince my management team to embrace a new business idea", "Sell a complete solution to the ABC account", or "Improve my physical fitness by eating better and exercising more". Then answer the questions that follow to calculate the scores for your particular goal.


My goal is:

Awareness (Ascertaining what to do)

I have developed a comprehensive understanding and baseline of knowledge about the topic I'm engaging.

There is accurate proof and an unbiased awareness of the current issue or the opportunity that lies ahead.

The end goal (problem to be solved or opportunity to be leveraged) is clearly defined and aligned with the broader objectives that exist.

All reasonable approaches to reaching the end goal have been evaluated and the best alternative has been identified.

Motivation (Establishing why to do it)

The impact of achieving this goal is clear and why pursuing this goal is worth the effort.

The pain to be avoided, the gain to be achieved, or whatever justification is available has been clearly stated in writing.

The benefit of achieving the goal has been quantified in net present value terms providing motivation to act now instead of later.

The driving motivation to proceed is an intrinsic one, not merely an externally imposed one, e.g. a compliance requirement, condition of employment.

Belief (Securing confidence it can be done)

Any expected obstacles or prior attempts have been analyzed providing a solid understanding of the risks involved and issues that are likely to be encountered.

For every obstacle that might be encountered, a contingency plan has been developed that can be reasonably put into action which creates a high degree of confidence in going forward.

The desired end state is visualized and brought to life with stories, examples, and through engagement of your applicable senses, e.g. sight, sound, touch, smell, and taste.

At least one third-party who has successfully accomplished this goal has been consulted and the example of their success has been thoroughly reviewed and is believed.

Incremental Steps (Determining how to do it)

Key progress milestones to achieving the goal have been identified along with measurable metrics and due dates.

Each milestone is broken down into incremental activities that are simply initiated and accomplished.

Milestones and sub-tasks are written down in a plan which can be easily followed.

Tasks in the plan contain early "wins" that build confidence and elements of personal enjoyment making them something to look forward to.

Time & Energy (Making it achievable)

The time and energy (physical and mental) that the plan requires has been identified and quantified.

Accommodations for the time required have been put in place prior to expecting any of the plan's tasks to be performed.

Accommodations for the extra energy required have been put in place prior to expecting any of the tasks to be performed.

The people and resources required to provide the extra time and energy needed have been put into place.

Initiation (Moving from thinking to doing)

All possible scheduling conflicts with the tasks in the plan have been considered and contingency plans have been put in place to deal with them.

Any upcoming circumstances that might present extraordinary obstacles have been considered and planned around.

The optimal starting date, time, and place to execute the plan have been identified and agreed upon.

Any fallback options are made to be clearly less desirable than continuing with the plan once it has been initiated.

Others (Putting a fail-proof support group in place)

People who will be affected have been consulted, involved, informed, and are bought into the plan. Potential detractors have been won over or neutralized. Key relationships are secured.

People and other resources which will be needed to execute the plan have been committed.

Others that are well respected and might be a sponsor/mentor or are pursuing a similar goal have agreed to be part of a larger "support group" which benefits all parties involved.

Accountability measures are in place for all involved and sponsors/mentors agree to provide encouragement, maintain accountability, and celebrate the completion of incremental milestones.

Normalcy (Turning it into reality and making it sustainable)

Any new skills or behaviors required to reach the goal can be safely practiced on a repeated basis without maltreatment or fear of failure.

Any new behaviors required can be practiced frequently and daily if necessary, without interruption and without taking extended breaks from that behavior, until it becomes a natural habit.

There is sufficient discipline, dedication, persistence, and restraint in place on the part of everyone involved in executing the plan.

The attainment of the goal will result in a sustainable condition that can be as normal as the current condition.

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