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You want to get your point across in a meeting.

Maybe you want to position yourself for a promotion or a raise.

Perhaps you need more resources to complete a project.

These are all examples of situations where you need to “influence” others in order to achieve your goal.

How can you set yourself up for success?

You need to do your homework to be able to articulate clearly what you want and need AND you need to understand what motivates the other person(s). It does no good to have a perfect pitch if the pitch does not resonate with your audience. It falls flat. Have you ever experienced this?

Getting what you want and need in the workplace (or in life in general) is all about speaking the language of your audience. What motivates them? What’s important to them? Why should they care about what you’re saying? Once you answer these questions, you can better position your “ask”.

In a newly released book, Focus: Use Different Ways of Seeing the World for Success and Influence, authors Heidi Grant Halvorson and E. Tory Higgins state:

You need to “learn to speak the motivational language of the person you are trying to influence. When you tailor your message (or their experience) to match their focus-the kind of “good” they want-they will feel right about it. We call this experience motivational fit, and we know from over a decade of research that it creates increased trust, believability, engagement, and value.”

A recent example of this is with a client of mine who is Chief Operating Officer of a construction company. She feels that the CEO does not value her or trust her and there is a lot of tension in the relationship. He doesn’t recognize her as the COO.

We talked about what is important to him. He is a micromanager and he needs to feel he is in control of everything going on in the company. He sits on every committee and has his finger in all the details. Now the COO should in reality be his partner in running the company and provide the level of detail he needs to feel comfortable. Our plan was to meet with him and offer a detailed weekly report that will give him all the information he needs from all the different departments.

The result? Magic! This simple report has changed the nature of their relationship and will over time create the partnership she desires. It will lead to more trust and respect.

Why? Because we tailored the solution based on his motivational language to be in control.

What do you currently want to achieve? Who is your audience and what do you know about their motivations?

Do your homework, create a positioning statement or solution based on their motivational language and you will set yourself up for success.