Your ability to personally influence someone depends on your relationship with them. If you don’t know them at all, you will have minimal, if any influence. If they know your name and face, they might pay some attention. But if you have a relationship with them, there is a better chance that they will listen, care, and take action based on what you say. To influence change, build relationships.
It’s just a fact that you have more influence with people who like you and trust you. Take a look at the relationships you have with people who have a big impact on your change initiative. When you see them in the hall, do you make eye contact? Do you say hello? Do you stop and talk? The nature of the relationship will also affect how you might influence someone. Is you relationship built on respect, authority, and expertise, or on humor, service and friendship?
By building a relationship, you find out what makes the other person tick. You can better understand their concerns, their trigger points, and what they care about. You can learn what they need most from the change, and how you might support them through it. Likewise, they can get to know you, and understand what you are trying to do and why it is important to you.
With whom might you build relationships?
Read more of the 99 Ways to Influence Change.