Strategic Influencing Course – 1st December 2011

I attended this course because my communication, especially I feel with more senior members of staff, is an area that requires improvement. In fact, communication with all is an area I am actively working on improvement. This is not an a complete overview of the session rather a personal reflection on what I got out of the afternoon, and what I am going to use professionally moving forward.


The entire session was created and presented by Amanda Stearn who has/does work in coaching, marketing and change management. It was hosted & I presume paid for by North West Health Care Libraries Unit (HCLU) in their Wigan office and a such was full of health librarians (the best kind of librarians!). It was a session based upon the principles of ‘action learning’. An introduction to Strategic Influencing and its importance was up first – including resistance (and minimizing), finding connections (not about getting your own way, but finding a joint way), some neuro-linguistic programming – which I had never come across before – was introduced. This was mainly around the concept of the ‘well-formed outcome’ and a practical session on how to develop these outcomes. Following the introduction to strategic influencing the concept was broken down into 4 areas, all with their own practical aspects:

  1. Identifying Stakeholders – When looking at possible stakeholders, what questions should you ask yourself?
  2. Analysing Stakeholders – looking at different stakeholder mapping techniques
  3. Planning – Improving personal presentations and introducing ‘representational systems’ (visual, auditory, kinaesthetic and auditory-digital) and the strategic communications model – creating compelling reasons for change
  4. Engaging – tips to positively market yourself in individual, group and presentation settings. Perception is reality!


I found this a really useful session, as discussed below, there are things I’m going to use straight away. That is always a positive sign for a course! If I’m being honest it could of being a couple of hours longer, focusing on a bit more of the theory – but then I am a ‘auditory-digital’ person… I found the action learning approach a bit difficult, as I am not overly comfortable with this learning style (it seems childish personally) so I was out of my comfort zone, but a challenge to my preferences is no bad thing. There is nothing that I dread more than the sight of flip chart paper and felt tip pens being distributed, which felt like a weekly occurrence at MMU! However in this case the practical aspects seemed to strengthen my learning.

3 Things I’m going to take from this

  1. Use the ‘well formed outcome’ to fully lay out and hopefully understand future challenges
  2. Use the ‘stakeholder analysis’ mapping method demonstrated to visualise and evaluate current (and future) relationships
  3. Try to envelop the tips of stakeholder engagement into my presenting style, but also in other settings such as meetings with decision-makers

2 thoughts on “Strategic Influencing Course – 1st December 2011

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