Getting thing Done using Influence

One of the questions I got last week was about how to get things done when you don’t have authority or relationships.

Ann was asked to find and present information from people who didn’t report to her.  She has the added complication of not having relationships within the firm and working remotely, so building rapport is not an easy option.

Here are 6 tips we worked through.

1 Use other People’s Authority

“Your boss has asked me to do this” and “the CEO needs this work next week” are examples of using other’s authority, showing that your task is important to people that they want to be on good terms with.

2 Finding their motivations

See if you can find a way that they support your role. If you are writing internal communications, perhaps they support the team building that this enables, or the way that people get recognised for the hard work they do, or…

3. Asking for Help

“I need to get four of these done this week and I have only two at the moment, can you help me?“

4 Let them set the deadline

OK, this one doesn’t always work, AND its often a good place to start. Your question is “when can you get this back to me?” and often (not always) you will get a date that works for you. If you do, then they have made a promise to you, which means that you are slightly more likely to get it when you need it.

5 Badgering

I’m reminded of one of our family stories when dad was having problems being paid for some work. The office manager rang them regularly (before the day of caller ID), and in the end they said “I pay, I pay, I pay” just to get rid of her phone calls. Obviously, this approach may not make you popular, but sometimes its all you have.

6 Phone rather than Email

Think about what medium you use for following up. Emails are getting easier and easier to ignore, where phone calls, texts or messages on internal coms systems may get more response.  This will be change for different organisations and even people within the organisations.

Getting things done with out authority can be more challenging, but there are some tools for you to use.

What are other things that you’ve used that works? Please share.