Influencer : The power to change anything

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Posted by APM on 30th Nov 2012

On 7th November, an excess of 50 delegates joined us at the Atkins Hub in the north Bristol, for a workshop conducted by Richard Pound to explore the principles behind changes in peoples behaviour, giving an insight into how we can exert influence and achieve real change.

This was a return visit by Richard Pound to the South Wales and West of England region following his well-regarded presentation on Crucial Conversations earlier this year.  The workshop explored fascinating examples of influencing changes in behaviour, ranging from the eradication of the Guinea worm, to competitive eating!  For project managers, the lessons were very real the ability to change behaviour, your own and of others, may be the most important capacity you possess.  Exercising this ability effectively requires an understanding of why people behave the way they do and how we can make people change.

Before attempting to change behaviour, one must first have clarity as to the desired outcome and expressed as measurable results, often in terms of business benefits. Analysis will then identify crucial moments where influencing behaviour will have real impact on the outcome. The workshop explored use of an influence diagram based upon six powerful sources of influence to establish a strategy for bringing about change.  This change is significantly influenced by peer pressure the key lesson here is that we need to hold others to account if we perceive that their behaviour is contrary to that desired to achieve the teams objectives.  Do not remain silent in such situations but be prepared to challenge!

A lively discussion wrapped up an interesting evening which offered valuable insights into behavioural change, applicable to project professionals in any sector or role.

Peter Wakeling
Treasurer of the South Wales and West of England branch

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