Influencing Boards with Big Shoes

I have been running with a series of blogs about the boardroom. My R is for CanceR blog last week suggested some boards are totally disconnected with the discussion on risk. Is it their fault or yours?

Whether it is about risk or any other topic, through my career I have concluded that the hardest thing to do in business is to communicate effectively. And when it comes to being an adviser to boards, that means to communicate influentially. I have become so enthralled with the challenge I am about to publish a new book on the subject. It’s called Winning Conversations: How to turn red tape into blue ribbon.

In the book and in my influencing program of the same name, I make the point that it is your responsibility to communicate effectively. It is not your audience’s job to work out the importance of what you do or what you are saying. It is your responsibility to understand the value of what you are offering, communicate it effectively, take their guidance and deliver.

The first step to communicating effectively is standing in the shoes of the board and of individual board members. You need to know what is important to them, why it is important and how what you do can solve their problems.

Can you complete this statement?:

“The biggest challenge facing my board right now is ____________ “

If you can’t answer it then you are missing out on the opportunity to link what you do to what they care about.

Stand in their big shoes and align your advice to their problems and you will instantly rise higher on the persuasion scale.