Dirty secrets of WOOing in the workplace

The ability to WOO is essential in business and in life.

According to Gallup Organization’s StrengthFinder methodology, WOO stands for Winning Others Over  (what did you think it stood for?)

There are countless situations in the workplace when you will need to influence people- to invite them to see a different point of view ….and then motivate them to exchange value with you. You may be gaining time, money or resources from them but you have to convince them to part with this value first.

[Tweet ““Leadership is influence” @JohnCMaxwell @Passionigniter “]

The ability to influence others is a key leadership skill, yet, it is one of many that tends to make us feel dirty or we feel less confident about using; especially when compared to a more extroverted colleague. Many of us tend to leap into action before putting some strategic thought or intent behind building a proper case to WOO. Investing in some preparation can actually save you time in the WOOing process.

Here are 3 key strategies to help you WOO faster and more effectively:

1. Begin with the end in mind: It is easy to get distracted by shiny objects or issues that actually have no bearing on the change you want to achieve. It is easy to allow the smallest comment to ignite a massive tangent that takes everyone off track and staring away from the common goal. Bring focus to the topic from the start. Envision what success looks like, then share it with everyone so the direction and end outcome is clear. This is especially key in a group setting. Articulate the result of the new idea in a team meeting. Then reinforce the vision continuously- write it in the meeting minutes, blast it out in an email, discuss it during coffee break, talk to people on the conference call about it. People get behind ideas they can visualize.

2. Sit in their chair ( ok not literally..unless it would really help):  Often times we are unable to convince someone to see things from our perspective simply because they have not heard the specific benefit to them. It is your job to make this crystal clear so that they can’t say no. Take a few minutes to put yourself in their seat and consider the issue completely and utterly from their perspective. (Spoiler alert: this requires empathy… you must stretch yourself to really feel how they feel.)

Key questions to consider:
What emotional reactions do they have on this subject?
What beliefs are true for them?
What may prompt their resistance to this change?
How could this change make their life easier?

Once you are able to truly see the topic from their perspective, you will be able to not only articulate your case in a way that is meaningful to them but also dream up talking points to combat any potential objections they may throw at you.

3. Use their language: I don’t mean communicate your idea in French to your European colleague but rather observe the subtleties in their choice of words, phrases and the way they communicate ideas. Is this a person who commonly rattles off statistics when speaking about his weekend trip to the museum? Does this person use descriptive emotions and feelings to recap the last sales meeting? By paying special attention to the choice of language and how people express their ideas and thoughts, you are actually learning what they think is important. The goal here is to determine how others experience value and then articulate it in a way that makes sense to them. If you know statistics are key to someone, use numbers to communicate your idea and ask for buy-in. If it is emotional connection that resonates with someone, show visuals or testimonials of the impact the outcome has had on people’s lives and talk about the potential to touch more lives.

I can’t remember who said it, but this quote is tattooed in my brain and heart:

[Tweet “To get what you want, give people what they need. @passionigniter”]

Its bottom-line truth that reminds me to take a step back, keep it simple and make it matter to the person I’m speaking to.

Time to kick this into action.

What big idea do you want to drive forward and who needs to be WOOed?

Try out the strategies above and share your learnings and results with the community via the comments below.

I hope you WOO your heart out.




Our most in-demand trainings are now VIRTUAL so you can keep teams & ERGs inspired, engaged & learning during covid-19. Click here for details