Iliyana's Blog

6 Key Tactics to Use When You Need to Persuade Someone

[fa icon="calendar'] 06-Nov-2018 09:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Leadership, Project Management, Program Management

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Almost every day at work, I find myself in a situation where I need to persuade someone to do something and most of the times, this someone wouldn't even report to me. 

As you can imagine, this is extremely difficult to do because others have their own jobs and priorities and trying to impose yours on them isn't as simple. 

I've found that to make someone to agree to a proposal (a pitch for an executive yes or a request to someone to do pieces of work) you need to rely on one particular weapon - influence. 

Becoming influential, though, is a lengthy process that in my opinion revolves around building relationships with people and growing your own reputation. 

But sometimes, even if you are the most influential person in the company, you'll inevitably get pushback. 

Ideally, you should be prepared for such an outcome in advance. A helpful strategy I've used in such tricky situations is analysing and planning with Cialdini's six principles of persuasion. 

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Imagining It Forward: Innovation, Change and Leadership in Business

[fa icon="calendar'] 16-Oct-2018 09:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Brands and Business, Marketing, Leadership

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"People can’t just be told change is coming and be expected to spring into action. They have to work through it."

I quite agree with this quote. It comes from Beth Comstock's book Imagine It Forward that I just finished reading.

Beth Comstock was the Vice Chair of General Electric and throughout her decades-long career she has gathered a ton of experience in marketing, innovation and change for business growth. 

The book is classified as a business and leadership book, however, for me it was more of a memoir or the GE story through Beth's eyes and experiences from the last couple of decades in a chronological order, detailing meetings, corporate issues and decision-making challenges. 

As impressive and at times difficult Beth's journey has been, I found it hard to identify the practical tips and a clear plan of action to make change happen while reading the book. Maybe that wasn't its purpose but rather to tell a personal autobiography. 

Nonetheless, there were some nice nuggets and important learnings that I noted on my kindle. I want to share these with you today. I've structured them based on some of the key topics I picked up: innovation, change and leadership. 

Innovation

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10 Behaviours That Make Up a Great Manager [Infographic]

[fa icon="calendar'] 07-Aug-2018 09:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Leadership

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"People leave managers, not companies."

Have you heard this saying before? 

I'm sure you have. I've spent a lot of time learning about leadership and as part of that, it's differences to management

You can be a great leader and you don't have to be a manager who has direct reports. 

But management is an extremely important function in any company. 

My greatest manager so far was Amanda Whyte who taught me a lot. The thing I appreciate the most was her candid constructive feedback that every quarter gave me something to work on. I'm driven by learning so for me it was extremely important to know the areas that I needed to improve. 

I consider myself lucky to have had such a manager. 

But what about the people who are not as lucky? What makes a bad manager and what makes a great manager? 

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Executive Presentations: How to Get a 'Yes' from Your Executive

[fa icon="calendar'] 31-Jul-2018 09:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Internal Communication, Program Management, Leadership

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Have you ever struggled to get a 'yes' to your proposal from your boss (or anyone else for that matter)?

I have. It's hard to persuade someone else to do what you want or to agree to the approach you are proposing so that you can execute.  

The more you move up in a company and the bigger the company becomes (i.e. a corporation), the more important it becomes to build a business case and present it in front of the right person in the right way in order to get out what you want for your next steps. It's the same if you work in an agency and need your client's buy-in.

I spend a lot of my time at my job doing exactly that. I wouldn't say I've mastered this but I've certainly learned a few things. 

And as always, I learn by reading, listening to videos and of course, by doing. 

Today, I want to share with you the key learnings from a video and a slideshare that I came across on executive presentations that get you an executive 'yes'. In addition, I'll share some of my own experience too.

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The 6 Different Leadership Styles Based on Culture [Infographic]

[fa icon="calendar'] 29-May-2018 09:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva posted in Cultural Differences in Business, Leadership

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I'm fascinated by culture. I'm also fascinated by leadership so when I stumbled upon this HBR research on what leadership looks like in different cultures during an online course on International Project Management, I had to dig deeper into it and decided to summarise my learnings in the below infographic. 

Before we get there, though, let's make sure we're all on the same page with what leadership is and why cultural differences play a role

Leadership can be defined as the ability of an individual to influence, motivate and guide others.

Regardless of where they work, good leaders distinguish themselves by their judgment, their ability to relate to others and their integrity. Those skills and qualities are fairly universal across the globe and organisations.

However, culture influences the degree to which each quality is practiced and valued.

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