Here’s an idea that’s very easy , very potent and yet often forgotten : Choose the right time , the right time for everything , isn’t there ? So too if you want to have it your way !
It won’t help your influencing if those you wish to influence are tired , stressed . getting ready to go out or watching the latest episode of The Simpsons . You need to pick the right time for the targets of your influencing , not just a time that suits you . That’s it . It’s as simple as that . Admit it , though you’d not really given it much thought , had you ?
But – and it’s a big BUT -’ now ‘ is probably not the best time : you are not going to get the result you wanted . You are going to get a very upset old lady and look horrible bully . If you shout at the head teacher , it will only backfire on your son . As for sacking the builder , that’d be crazy . At least he turns up , works to budget and is polite , you want a clear drive , too ?
REMEMBER too that if it’s not the best time for that somebody else then they will probably not be listening to you . And if they aren’t listeniong , you are not going to influence , you can’t get what you want . Here are some classic bad times to avoid :
Too soon : ‘ Hang on , I haven’t even got my coat off yet ! ‘
Too late : ‘ Look , can we talk about this tomorrow ? I really need to get off home like NOW . ‘
When they are too distracted : ‘ Okay , but i’ve got a lot on at the moment . Couldn’t we do this another time , maybe ? ‘
When they are on the way to a meeting : ‘ I can give you one minute ! ‘
When neither of you has had time to reflect : ‘ I can’t believe you just said that ! ‘
At the end of the day : ‘ Look ,i’ve had a tough day with an evil boss and idiot clients , and my laptop’s stopped working . I am really not going to listen to you table-thumping about how we should be recycling more . ‘
When you are too emotional : ‘ Where the bl**dy hell have you been ? ‘
When they do not have enough time to respond : ‘ Hang on . I’ve got a presentation to give in 45 minutes . ‘
When it simply isn’t fair : ‘ Look , i’ve just been made redundant myself . Can’t we talk about this tomorrow ? ‘
The aim should always be to find a time when the other person will be receptive and have a bit of time to reflect and discuss . Given the pace of life today , that’s going to be difficult but , if you can’t find the right time , the danger is that your whole argument will probably be ignored .