First of all, what are influencing skills and why are they useful for Document Controllers?
Influencing skills are a set of skills that allow you to convince other people and to obtain a true “buy-in” from them.
It is the ability to bring someone to your way of thinking and gaining their support without force or coercion.
Why should Document Control professionals develop influencing skills?
Basically because it makes their job easier. Indeed, a large part of our day is spent explaining rules and making sure that people follow the rules related to documents.
But it becomes so much easier when the other party (let’s say an author, or a supplier) understands the reasons why it is so important to follow the rules and not to deviate from the process.
For example, you will not be able to stop the behaviour of someone who consistently sends documents to the client without any quality check and without going through Document Control, if that person is not convinced that it is more risky and cumbersome for them to act like that than going through the proper channel.
So influencing skills are very useful to Document Controllers, but how to develop them?
The truth is that it is not a set of skills that you acquire overnight. It is a set of skills that you need to develop throughout your career, by taking every opportunity to learn and exercise.
The roadmap is to develop skills such as:
- Awareness of one’s own behaviour
- Awareness and understanding of other people’s personality traits, characters, motivators, etc
- Understanding of the big picture (why are we doing that?) and how Document Control relates to the big picture and to each stakeholders
- Speaking in public
- Emotional intelligence
- Communication skills
- Negociation skills
- Cultural awareness
The idea is to develop those skills every day, relentlessly and to never lose an opportunity to try. It takes time and practice to perfect those skills but it allows to become incredibly more effective when we have them
Other blog articles that might interest you:
10 tips for career development
How to improve recognition of the Document Control profession
How to produce a career development plan