Following on from the success of ‘The Negotiation Book’, yesterday saw the launch of Diadem CEO, Nicole Soames’ second book, designed to help people set themselves up for success when they influence others. ‘The Influence Book’ is an inspiring and engaging handbook packed with practical tools and techniques to help you develop your emotional intelligence so you can become a strong influencer who motivates the other person to say “yes” to your idea or recommendation.
Nicole was delighted to be joined on the night by more than a hundred friends, colleagues and clients, including Mike Stagg, GM of Retail for Disney, who helped kick-off the launch with an engaging Q&A session:
Mike: So Nicole, congratulations on your second publication – why did you put yourself through it for a second time?
Nicole: As a trainer and coach who has helped thousands of people master the art of influencing, I wanted to go beyond a business context and inspire a wider audience of people to raise their influencing game.
Mike: You talk a lot about emotional intelligence in the book – why is it so important to successful influencing
Nicole: Emotional Intelligence is about recognising and managing you own emotions and those of others. And because influencing is ultimately about communicating with other people – EQ lies at the very heart of this. If you are trying to convince the other person to agree to your idea, you need to be able to “read” the other person in order to build rapport and motivate them to say “yes” and this requires developing your EQ.
Mike: You talk about storytelling, something very dear to my heart as someone who works for Disney. Why is this so important in influencing people?
Nicole: Steve Jobs famously said “The most powerful person in the world is the story teller. The storyteller sets the vision, values and agenda…” People are more likely to remember and be engaged by a story than facts and figures but don’t be tempted just to tell your story – I always say telling is the lowest form of selling! You need to sell your story and win the other person’s heart and mind.
Mike: Being authentically you is another theme, in this world of “fake news” and social media how do you achieve this?
Nicole: Some people mistakenly believe you need to “fake it until you make it”. However, in life people buy people – you need to be authentic, communicate in a genuine way and show your vulnerability in order to build rapport and establish your credibility in the eyes of the other person.
Mike: They say the further you go up an organisation the smaller your ears get, in your experience is there any truth in that, and if there is what do you suggest to those “small-eared” executives in the audience?
Nicole: We’re all fortunate in this room to be able to hear – however, hearing is involuntary whereas listening is a skill. And if it’s a skill you need to work at it. Yet we’re not taught in school how to listen, when in fact we spend 70% of our day listening to others. To be a strong influencer, you need to harness your EQ to listen with empathy and be truly present in the moment so you can process exactly what the other person is saying. And the more senior you become, the more important it is to carve out time to actively listen to the people who work for you.
Mike: Finally, why should people go out and buy a copy of The Influence Book?
Nicole: In my experience, reading most influencing books is like eating a pack of dry crackers, dry and difficult to digest! I’m a practitioner – I’ve learnt over the years how influencing can be done badly so I know how it is done well and I wanted to share this with other people.
‘The Influence Book’, by Nicole Soames is published on the 9th November 2018. It is WH Smith’s “We recommend” book for non-fiction. Pre-order your copy now at www.amazon.co.uk or visit www.nicolesoamesbooks.com