February 28, 2018 / Articles We Like / Influencing Skills

On “How to Increase Your Influence at Work”

Knowing how to influence teams, clients and stakeholders is a crucial aspect of today’s business environment. There is a real value to be recognized as someone with influence – it can help you get important projects done, get noticed, and even promoted.

In a recent Harvard Business Review article “How to Increase Your Influence at Work,” Rebecca Knight outlines some principle do’s and don’ts to be the leader you want to be, regardless of your role or title.

January 30, 2015 / Articles We Like

On “The Way We Hire Is All Wrong”

Many studies have shown that recruiting processes are broken. For example, a 2012 study by consulting firm Leadership IQ showed that out of 20,000 new hires, 46% had failed within 18 months. That’s an incredibly high failure rate given the amount of effort involved! Working in Silicon Valley with many leading and cutting-edge companies needing quality talent to grow, we believe it’s time to disrupt this process!  That’s why we share this article.

Deborah Branscum’s Medium article, “The Way We Hire Is All Wrong”, tells the story of a 2-day hackathon as an innovative way for employers to observe prospective candidates in action, doing real work. Read about the writer’s experience and her conclusions now!

What do you think about the traditional recruiting process? What innovative suggestions do you have for disrupting the process?

January 31, 2014 / Articles We Like

On "Customer Experience: How To Manage What You Don’t Own"

This article by Erik Long & Will Carter resonates because many businesses today rely on a complex web of external partnerships to deliver value for the customer. While external partnerships are often not within an organization’s direct control, certainly they can be influenced – and they must be – as they are part of the ecosystem delivering on the organization’s brand promise.

The CMO.com article Customer Experience: How to Manage What You Don’t Own shares insights and tips that leaders can apply across all aspects of business, from marketing to human resources, to improve the customer experience. Read it now.

What actions are you taking to identify and influence your company’s unowned touch points? What tools have you used like journey mapping? What other tools do you use to capture and understand your customers’ experience?

Comment below! Or pose a question via Ask Mariposa.

January 29, 2014 / Ask Mariposa

Ask Mariposa | A Damaged Working Relationship

Jamie asks:  My colleague and I had a disagreement over the future of our project.  She thought we should cut our losses now, while I thought we could still grow a customer base in a specific territory.  Before I knew it, tensions escalated based on assumptions I made about her commitment to the project.  We still haven’t decided what direction to take this project and now we aren’t interacting as well as we used to.  I’d like to address the situation.  Have any advice?  

Tawny Lees, COO or Mariposa, responds:

As you know, in business, decisions and actions ought to be based on reality and facts.  It sounds though as if the situation escalated because you may have jumped to conclusions, rather than keep the discussion focused at the facts level.

One mental model you can use next time you encounter a disagreement is the Ladder of Inference.  The ladder describes thinking steps that lead one to jump to inaccurate conclusions, where decisions and actions are made far from reality.  The ladder looks like this:

ladder of inference_smallImagine at the base of a ladder lie reality and facts.  As we head up the rungs of the ladder, we select data from the set of facts to add meaning based on our own prior experience and beliefs, make assumptions, draw conclusions, develop beliefs based on these conclusions, then finally, take action that seems “right” (because it’s based on what we believe.)  As you can see, beliefs drive what information we choose to see, which may or may not be based on reality!   And acting on assumptions can lead to damaged relationships.

In your next discussion, we suggest getting into rapport with her by matching your body language, voice and words with hers.  This will help level-set any uneasiness you both might be feeling.  Then, describe the thinking process of the Ladder of Inference, and let her know where you were “on the ladder” in your last discussion.  Revisit the project facts from there.  You’ll be able to move to decision when you’re both focused on the reality of your project!  Good luck!

For more information on the Ladder of Inference, read Overcoming Organizational Defenses by Chris Argyris, Allyn and Bacon, 1990.

December 21, 2013 / Articles We Like

On: "4 Essential Ingredients in Consumer Storytelling"

We share this article by Diane Hessan because businesses that use narrative to communicate consumer stories can create real meaning for employees and decision makers, inspiring them to action by altering perceptions and assumptions.  Storytelling is a synthesis of all sources of customer information, not just one person’s account, however inspiring, and offers insights to help businesses move in the right direction.

In the inc. article, “4 Essential Ingredients in Consumer Storytelling,” the author outlines four key ingredients for creating consumer stories that resonate:

  1. Get personal and build relationships.
  2. Plan deliberately and explore from different angles.
  3. Use human intuition to find the story that matters.
  4. Evoke emotions that inspire action.

Read more about these ingredients now.

What actions have you been inspired to take as a result of consumer narratives?

Comment below! Or pose a question via Ask Mariposa.