Guidance for teaching this competency
Isolate a specific proposal or value proposition for practitioners to make to a market actor e.g.an input supplier to experiment with an agent-based network. Prepare a team of actors (other programme staff) to play market actors with the same business but different circumstances and personalities. Get practitioners to practice short 10-15 minute ‘pitch’ meetings. They should use different psychological tactics to get the market actor to agree to try out a new business model. Include an observer to take notes and give specific feedback on the approach to persuasion.
- General advice on scenarios and role plays
Find low-stakes opportunities for practitioners to persuade new partners to work with the programme. Choose scenarios that have a clear behavioural 'ask' that mean practitioners can see the results of their influence skills. For example participating in an interview as part of a market analysis, or attending a promotional event as part of a crowding in strategy.
- General advice on field practice methods
Coaching & mentoring advice
- Encourage practitioners to think beyond rational, logic-based appeals to include emotional and trust-based tactics.
- Prompt practitioners to think about their influence approach just before they leave the office to meet with a partner or prospective partner.
- Use regular weekly or monthly meetings to have all practitioners self-assess which influence strategies or principles they are over-relying on. Ask team members to take stock using a simple dashboard or scorecard to notice their dominant tendencies.
- Pair up practitioners for critical meetings with partners so they can learn from each other’s influence tactics through direct observation.