Join LinkedIn Learning Instructors for an in-depth discussion in this video How to Identify Key Decision Makers, part of 2-Minute Tips for Senior Leaders.
- If you want to impact decisions at work, you need to know who the decision makers are. I'm Dorie Clark, Former Presidential Campaign Spokesperson, and author of "Entrepreneurial You." Here's how to determine where the real power lies. First, think about creating your own power map. A visual rendering of who is influential around a given topic and who influences them. That's useful because you don't want to waste your time persuading people who don't have decision making authority.
Start with the person you want to influence. Let's say it's your boss and you want to persuade her to approve a new initiative your proposing. Put her at center of the map and branching out from her are the people that she listens to most on that issue. To identify these people look at who she spends a lot of time with. Who does she always invite to meetings? Is there anyone she seems to defer to on specific issues? Maybe the people who are really influential to her are her chief of staff, her colleague in the accounting department, her secretary, and her spouse.
Your job, in addition to directly lobbying your boss, is to build positive connections with the people around her so that the echo chamber works in your favor. You have a far better chance of success when it's not just you promoting an idea, but also the other key people around her. For each person you can color code your relationship with them. Green is when you have a good relationship with them. Yellow is a light connection. And red is when they have no idea who you are. Or they don't like you. By getting to know people over time and building positive relationships with them you should focus on turning as many relationships green as possible.
The more supporters you can have in your corner, the more likely it is that your boss will see the merits in your proposal.