Friday, November 24, 2017

The Influence Effect by Kathryn Heath, Jill Flynn, Mary Davis Holt, and Diana Faison

Politics. Most of us react like it’s a dirty word and it doesn’t change any when we talk about workplace politics. Those are even worse because politics at work is more personal, tangible, and the elephant in the room. Some people are manipulative at politics in the workplace to the point where it’s over the top and nauseating. Sadly, politics at work is a necessary evil, and for most women, it’s a nightmare and can paralyze us.

No one “trains” women how to work political so when we are newly minted in a job, it can be a shock to be told to start “politicking,” or we see it and feel lost or beaten down. Men are better at the game because they think “winning” and women tend to think more about “building.” Which one works the best? The new book The Influence Effect by Kathryn Heath, Jill Flynn, Mary Davis Holt, and Diana Faison is a must read for all women who are in business or just jumping into the fray. You can’t afford to not read and use this book as a map for wandering through the political minefield in the workplace.

Politics seems to come naturally to most men. As women, we fight it, fear it, and it appears dirty. It doesn’t need to be. Women need to think about politics in a new light. We have some natural gifts that many men lack and we can use them to forge relationships and become masters at politics with soul, relationship focus, and positive influence. Women need to realize that politics is all about bringing people together, making a positive inclusive change, using power as a tool, and make our voices heard with a seat at the table.

The Influence Effect offers tools and strategies to encourage women to look at politics as a positive. The authors have all been in our seats and know that influencing those around us is the key to success. The more influence that we can foster, the more opportunities that we have to hear our voices heard and can make an impact without “playing” politics. Using our influence enables us to create agendas, make connections, bring teams together and make a change. Influence is “the tool of the times” and women can’t avoid jumping in to use our natural gifts.

The Influence Effect is divided into three parts and each one builds on fostering your influence and growing self-confidence. They include: Prepare to influence, Practice the five strategies, and Influence in action. Each chapter is rich with real stories and struggles of women and how they coped with political success and failure. There are point summaries to ask yourself and review to enable the reader to learn and reflect.

The meat of The Influence Effect are the five strategies that we are given to build our influence and make a change. Each approach will open your eyes to possibilities, empower your efforts while feeling supported. Here are the strategies that you need to learn to be in the influence driver’s seat:

  1. The power of the informal
  2. Relationship maps
  3. Scenario thinking
  4. Influence loops
  5. Momentum

I guarantee that each of these strategies will encourage you to become hungry to become more influential in a proactive manner. It’s comforting reading the stories of other women who have been in our shoes and have learned to overcome and make politics an asset. The Influence Effect will open your eyes to the world that men have lived in for so long yet show you how to succeed with a woman’s touch. We can strategize, think and act, and build teams with our form of influence. Pick up The Influence Effect today to embark on your own journey.

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