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The 5 Ss of an Influence Stack

One of the top 12 qualities of a good leader is influence. Even if you don’t define yourself as a leader or have a leadership role, chances are you’ll need to apply influencing skills at some point. Maybe you want leadership to buy into your idea or want to inspire people on your team to start a new project. Whether you’re in a meeting with a stakeholder, executive, or client, use the 5 Ss of the Influence Stack to create a resonating, action-inspiring message every time. 

If you’re a video or audio learner, discover the 5 layers of an Influence Stack and how to apply them by tuning into Episode 155 of the Your Brilliant Difference™ Podcast, “Influence Stack Part 2: 5 Elements to Create Resonance with Stakeholders and Clients.”

What is an Influence Stack?

An Influence Stack is a framework I designed to help you have resonance with stakeholders and clients. Based on my Amplify Your Influence Skill Builder I’ve embedded some of those teachings into this framework so you can bolster your influence in the workplace.  

1. The Stakeholder

Put yourself in your stakeholder’s shoes and understand how they see the world. Observe how they view the situation you’re proposing a solution for. Identify what they know, believe, and are aware of before your interaction, and what you want them to know, believe, and be aware of afterward.  

By seeing the world and situation from their perspective, you can incorporate content that better aligns with their preferences and style, amplifying your resonance. 

2. The Shift

While we use logic, facts, and statistics to rationalize decisions, we initially make choices based on emotion. The Shift is about identifying the stakeholder’s emotional state before and after speaking with you. Identify the emotional state they’re in surrounding the situation and outline the emotional state they’ll shift to after hearing your solution. 

3. The Structure

Now that you’ve gotten to know your stakeholder, you need to ensure you structure your message in a way that’s clear, concise, and understandable. Here are 5 guidelines that help me when creating presentations and proposals: 

  1. The problem: What specific problem are you aiming to solve with your idea/proposition? 
  2. The solution + transformation: What solution are you proposing to fix the problem? What will they be able to do and have as a result?  
  3. Consequences and rewards: What are the consequences if the stakeholder doesn’t act with your proposition? What are the rewards if they act?  
  4. The way forward: What are the steps your stakeholder can choose to fix the problem? 
  5. The call to action: What specific action are you asking the stakeholder to take? 

By answering these questions during your interaction preparation, you’ll be filling your conversation with critical components that help your stakeholder not only see the full picture of the situation, but how they can proceed.  

4. The Story

A part of having strong influencing skills is storytelling. Stories are passed down from generation to generation, and it’s because people resonate with them. By injecting stories into your interactions, you can find common ground with your stakeholder and help them relate to the situation.  

5. The Style

Like any skill, you bring your own special magic—your own unique talents and strengths—what I like to call Your Brilliant Difference™. When preparing for influential moments, identify how you best communicate and how you can lean on this strength in your meeting.  

The Influence Stack Framework

Now it’s time to put all 5 layers into action. I’ve designed your own Influence Stack Framework that you can download and fill out before every stakeholder or client meeting to ensure your message is aligned with your audience.  

It’s time to bring your brilliant ideas to life and inspire action in your business and role! 

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