Imagine this scenario: One day, you’re tasked to implement negotiation training for your organization and hoping to influence the partner selected. Technically you’re not in a leadership position, but you’re well-liked and respected by your team. You’ve been given managerial responsibilities, such as managing the team, researching options and creating a schedule that works for them. As long as your team cooperates, you will accomplish the task in no time. However, upon the first meeting, you find your team’s priorities are naturally aligning with their bosses and their jobs. The team isn’t able to contribute or make time for your project.

As a training professional, you know that it’s critical to influence others. But without having formal authority or a title associated with tenure, your priorities are likely to take a back seat to everything else on your team’s plate. It’s quite difficult to lead without authority, and this can be a recurring scenario for many. Instead of getting discouraged or quitting the project, here is a model based on Aristotle’s philosophy on the three elements of influence (ethos, pathos and logos) to build credibility, engage emotion, demonstrate logic and facilitate action that you can use for more effectiveness.

Build Credibility

Building credibility is the first step toward influencing others. If you lack credibility, there is very little you can do to convince your teammates. If others internally respect you and trust you, they are more likely to consider your ideas. Think about your own habits, you wouldn’t say yes to someone who walked off the street with zero credentials — and neither does your team! With honesty, authenticity, and a little bit of good old-fashioned gumption you can influence without authority. So, think about ways that you can either borrow credibility (e.g., from projects you were involved in that were very successful) or build your own, based on subject matter expertise. Develop your knowledge and skills to the point that you deeply understand the subject matter at hand. However, it’s not only about what you know: You also have to make sure others that others know what you know. You may have the most knowledge or expertise on the task at hand, but make sure to convey that to others.

Additionally, a successful influencer will participate in active listening. You won’t be able to influence co-workers who don’t feel heard. Acknowledging their position and responding in an attentive manner can quickly change the direction of the conversation for the better. Remember, influencing involves the ability to appeal to common goals and benefits. A successful team leader has to do more than “command.” They must show the ability to understand and change if the situation would benefit from it. Ending on a note of working together and finding common ground can leave a good impression, and good impressions further help to build an individual’s credibility!

Engage Emotion

The bottom line of all human interactions, including business, is emotion. People make decisions emotionally and then justify them rationally. That is why it is so important to understand how to harness emotions, your own and others, in the process of influence and persuasion. Think of what emotions you need to instill in order to influence others.

If you can use emotion in your speech, your audience is likely to feel connected to and empathetic about your message.

Demonstrate Logic

Once credibility has been established and emotions have been engaged, logical arguments can be used. Don’t lead with these arguments but include them later on to justify your points. Most people gravitate toward using logic to persuade others. Try to communicate logic in visual ways such as charts and try to compliment them with short and powerful stories. One or two data points and a great short story will be memorable and impactful — much more than 20 good pieces of support data!

Facilitate Action

Finally, facilitating action is the natural culmination of the three previous steps. After all, agreement without action is just a conversation. Give people a few options to choose from so that they feel like they are in control while they work within options you have selected. Too many options can be paralyzing, and it’s easier to avoid a decision. On the other hand, giving people too few options can feel like an ultimatum.

If you want to influence others in your organization or motivate them to listen to you, one of the surest methods is to develop expertise in your business function, industry or both. Build credibility with your team by showing you are the subject matter expert and are actively listening to their ideas and feedback. Engage emotion and connect with your teammates. Once your credibility is established, implement logic into your discussions to persuade them. Finally, facilitate action and complete your task.