Strategic Influencing

Gain commitment from key stakeholders for causes that are important to you.

The Case for Strategic Influencing

While influencing has always been a key leadership skill, today’s highly matrixed organizational structure makes it absolutely essential. 

Influencing was considered the most critical skill for career success in 2021. 

Having influence helps leaders: 

  • Develop strong trust-based relationships 
  • Achieve long-term goals 
  • Boost confidence and self-esteem
  • Garner public respect

Sources: Harvard Business Review, Forbes, and Indeed

Only 20 percent of 17,000 leaders surveyed worldwide have strong influencing skills.

Further, research shows that the most frequently used influencing tactics — pressure, praise, flattery, etc. — are not only ineffective, but they also negatively impact employee outcomes.

On the other hand, the most effective tactics — using value and vision to inspire others and gain their commitment — are the least frequently used.

Sources: Harvard Business Review, Ohio State University

Behaviors Learned

  • Identify Understand the difference between gaining compliance and gaining commitment
  • Gain the Maximum Gain the maximum understanding of the situation and stakeholders before launching into your influencing efforts
  • Choose From a Wide Range Choose from a wide range of influencing tools based on what’s most effective in a given context
  • step back Step back periodically to look at the big picture and adapt your approach to gaining buy-in and driving impact
  • Trust, Relationships Engage in trust-building behaviors that grow your influence over time

Core Ideas

Understand, before you act: Gain a deep understanding of the situation — you and the other party, your relationship, and the dialog you plan to have — before launching your influencing efforts.

Use a wide range of Influencing tactics: Use tactics that are most effective for the party you are seeking to influence.

Approach influencing as a process, not a one time event.

Know when to push, when to pull (back), when to pause and when to pivot.

Build your personal brand so that people trust you and open up to your influence more and more over time.


Learning How to Influence at the Workplace


From 2019 to 2021, Mentora was approached several times by various functional and corporate groups within The Kraft Heinz Company — e.g. Operations, HR, and R&D — to help them grapple with an all-too-common challenge: how to win others’ support.

In 2020, Kraft Heinz Legal, too, was looking to solve this problem — they were adeptly trained in the technical mastery of their discipline, but not in how they could influence others and gain their buy-in. As a result, they often found that they were excluded from key business discussions by other functions in the organization who did not approach Legal unless they absolutely had to.

Kraft Heinz Legal was looking for a way to turn this around — to win a seat at the table and start to influence business decisions.


Kraft Heinz Legal approached Mentora to design and deliver a program that would help their global team:

  • Evolve from a legal advisor and risk watchdog to a strategic and operational partner
  • Be better prepared to proactively help solve business problems, drive growth, and influence plans for the future
  • Facilitate business ideas (so that Legal isn’t the place where good ideas go to die)


Mentora adopted a blended approach to deliver this program:

  • Two 3-hour live sessions on Strategic Influencing
  • An action-planning lab to help them translate the principles of Influencing into a concrete set of practical actions
  • Role-play practice
  • Break-out sessions to plan for the future
  • Opportunities to apply their learnings to real life situations
Participant Voices

This experience has really broadened my understanding on how to develop and flex my influencing muscles.

Executive | Kraft Heinz

Participant Voices

I’ve experienced very notable impact from this program in advancing my relationships with others, and in driving their performance.

Executive | Kraft Heinz

Participant Voices

I actually used the skills I learned in this program recently. Someone who is very crucial to the success of our project told me that she will not be able to participate in the next very important project status meeting. I called her and applied some of the influencing insights I had learned, and ended by asking if she could give us 30 minutes (instead of the full hour) of her time. She was very grateful and participated for the full hour! This interaction has built a good foundation for future interactions.

Executive | Kraft Heinz

Participant Voices

Not only did the faculty touch on the fundamentals of influence through various lesson formats, they also did it in a way that was engaging and attention-grabbing. I really appreciated the way the information was presented as well as how we were encouraged to think differently from how we normally do.

Executive | Kraft Heinz