Have you ever wondered what it takes to truly influence others and lead effectively, regardless of your role or expertise?

Are you ready to unlock your full potential by mastering the art of active listeningrefined presentation skills, and continuous learning in leadership?

Do you want to discover practical strategies that can empower you to drive change and enhance methodologies within your team, while also growing personally and professionally?

In today’s episode, I dive deep into how you can improve your influencing skills. When I talk about influencing skills, I mean all the crucial abilities you need to be effective in. It’s not just about leading teams; it’s also about how you, as a statistician, data scientist, or programmer, lead your peers and even your supervisors.

Here are the highlights I share in this episode:
  • Influencing skills and leadership
  • Convincing others of ideas
  • Leading teams across functions
  • Engaging with supervisors
  • Practical application
  • Observation and reflection
  • Continuous learning
  • Active listening
  • Refined presentation skills
  • Personal and professional growth

Mastering these skills is essential, as being the best technical expert isn’t enough if you can’t drive change or enhance methodologies within your team. Share this valuable knowledge with your friends and colleagues, empowering them to unlock their full potential and drive positive change in their teams and organizations.

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How To Learn And Get Better On Your Influencing Skills

[00:00:00] Alexander: Welcome to another episode of the Effective Statistician. Today I want to talk about how you can improve your [00:00:10] influencing skills. And when I’m speaking about influencing skills, these are all the different skills that you need to be effective. To convince others about your [00:00:20] ideas, to lead others, and here I’m not just speaking to the supervisors that lead the team, but also all the other [00:00:30] statisticians, data scientists, programmers who need to lead the team cross functionally, who need to lead their peers, and even their [00:00:40] supervisors. Yes, all of these things work actually quite well with supervisors as well. Now, influencing [00:00:50] is really, really important because you can be the Best technical statistician in the world. If you can’t convince your study [00:01:00] team to actually, you know, use these new methods to use better designs for studies, to [00:01:10] have better programming environments, to have better scientific methods.

[00:01:16] Alexander: All of that doesn’t matter. So you need [00:01:20] to invest in your leadership skills. Now, leadership skills are in a way [00:01:30] very very similar to statistical skills. Just by reading a book, you don’t learn it. Yes, you can [00:01:40] go listen to a podcast, you can do all these things, and all of that is good. Because that way you actually understand what is actually [00:01:50] out there, you understand certain concepts.

[00:01:51] Alexander: Concepts, you learn the language, the vocabulary, you know what, you know, test is, you know [00:02:00] what a p value is, all these kind of different things. And leadership also has these different terminologies and you can learn about [00:02:10] them because then you can actually speak about them. The other thing is you can observe these things.

[00:02:19] Alexander: [00:02:20] How others are playing it and it’s a nice thing about these skills is you can observe them all around. You can see [00:02:30] how they’re applied by people within your organization and you can see whether they do it well, don’t do it well. And [00:02:40] especially from the contrast, you can learn a lot about it. You can watch movies, you can look TV.

[00:02:49] Alexander: [00:02:50] How politicians are trying to influence you, persuade you. They do that all the time. What do they do that is effective [00:03:00] and what is less effective? And I’m not speaking about kind of the different parties and all these kind of different things. Just think about what is effective and [00:03:10] what is not effective.

[00:03:13] Alexander: Another way to learn is to speak about it, to discuss it. [00:03:20] That will help you to better dive into it. It will also help you to reflect on it. There’s lots of different ways [00:03:30] to reflect on things. Sometimes it’s really good to speak about it. That will help you to reflect as well. There’s a lot of people that think, [00:03:40] By speaking through it, there’s other people that kind of sit back in silence and reflect about it.

[00:03:48] Alexander: Both is completely fine. [00:03:50] If you teach these, of course, you will even learn even more about it. Yeah, you probably have the same experience [00:04:00] if you explain statistics to someone else. You learn as well. Now, the most important aspect, [00:04:10] however, is doing it. So actually implementing these approaches. Like active [00:04:20] listening, really know how you do listen better.

[00:04:26] Alexander: And you might think like, listening? [00:04:30] Really? Yes. Most people don’t listen to understand. They listen to just [00:04:40] reply to the question or the comment. They don’t really listen to understand the other side. Good [00:04:50] listening skill. is absolutely fundamental as an influencing skill. Likewise, good presentation skills.

[00:04:59] Alexander: [00:05:00] Unfortunately, most of us, by far most of us, are not really good in terms of presentation skills. Yet, presentation skills are so [00:05:10] immensely important in our corporate culture, where lots of the things that we do is not good. Communicate it through [00:05:20] presentations, and good presentations actually reach their goal, bad presentations don’t.

[00:05:28] Alexander: So, [00:05:30] invest in better presentation skills. Do presentations. Deliver presentations. And of course, just doing is great. [00:05:40] But reflecting thereafter about it and also getting feedback about it is even better. Now, for example, when you [00:05:50] do a presentation that is pretty easy, you can ask someone before the presentation to provide you some feedback about it afterwards.

[00:05:59] Alexander: [00:06:00] Also, for meetings that you run, you can ask people afterwards, how was that? You can also ask potentially [00:06:10] peers that are in a negotiation together with you, hopefully on your side, how you negotiated. There’s lots of, lots [00:06:20] of different things that you can do and get feedback about it, then do it again.

[00:06:28] Alexander: Do it again, and [00:06:30] practice. Practice only. Practice makes the master and continuous learning makes the master. Leadership is not [00:06:40] something that you learn on a weekend course and then you are a great leader. It’s like statistics, [00:06:50] there’s so much to learn about it. You can, you should never stop to learn about it.

[00:06:57] Alexander: And by the way, all of these things will [00:07:00] not only help you be a better statistician, a more effective statistician, these things will also help you to be a better [00:07:10] spouse, be a better parent, be a better daughter, be a better community member, all these different things. So please do [00:07:20] invest in your leadership skills.

[00:07:22] Alexander: There’s likely lots of things that you can do within your company and your organization [00:07:30] if your company doesn’t provide these to you. So, or maybe they have these kind of leadership skills only for supervisors, which I think is a [00:07:40] disaster, or when these supervisor trainings If you only focus on, you know, speaking to your direct reports [00:07:50] then I have something different for you.

[00:07:52] Alexander: We have the Effective Statistician Leadership Program. And this program has proven to [00:08:00] be really, really successful and helpful to statisticians. We have had statisticians in [00:08:10] there, let’s say, with one, two years of experience who benefited from it a lot. We also had statisticians with over two decades of [00:08:20] experience who benefited from it a lot.

[00:08:23] Alexander: Just kind of on different levels. And by now we have trained more than [00:08:30] 500, actually we have enrolled more than 600 Nearly said, patients and of course statisticians, data scientists, programmers from across the [00:08:40] industry, academia, CRO, sponsors of course, quite a lot. And we regularly get very, very good [00:08:50] feedback for this training for a couple of different reasons.

[00:08:54] Alexander: First, it is designed from statisticians Gary and [00:09:00] myself, four other quantitative scientists. We specifically take our needs into account. [00:09:10] We specifically take our strengths into account. And we specifically talk about influencing, not [00:09:20] just from this supervisory point of view, which most generic leadership trainings too.

[00:09:27] Alexander: And I think that’s a pretty good example. Big, [00:09:30] big flaws there, because most of the leadership that is required in any of our metrics organization is this [00:09:40] lateral leadership, not the vertical leadership. Yes, that’s also good. But if you’re really good on the lateral part, the vertical part is [00:09:50] so much easier.

[00:09:52] Alexander: So please do invest in your leadership skills. And do it not just by listening to this podcast, [00:10:00] which is great. Also, do practice it, reflect on it, discuss it. And that’s why the leadership [00:10:10] programs that Gary and I created have these Mastermind groups, which consists of small group discussions that occur over time, [00:10:20] during which you will reflect on what you have implemented, discuss it, and get better.

[00:10:27] Alexander: So, this leadership program [00:10:30] has two parts. All these kind of different aspects in it that we talked about. If you want to learn more about this, the next open program, [00:10:40] so that is open to the complete public, starts end of April 2024. So just head over to the Effective Statistician homepage, [00:10:50] check out this leadership program.

[00:10:53] Alexander: And if you have any questions about it, just set up a meeting with me. There’s a link on the homepage. [00:11:00] If your company wants to invest in this, your organization, your university wants to invest in this, then just [00:11:10] write me an email to alexander at the effective statistician. com and we’ll have a chat about how we can make that possible for you.

[00:11:19] Alexander: With [00:11:20] that, have a great day and invest further in your leadership skills.

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I want to help the community of statisticians, data scientists, programmers and other quantitative scientists to be more influential, innovative, and effective. I believe that as a community we can help our research, our regulatory and payer systems, and ultimately physicians and patients take better decisions based on better evidence.

I work to achieve a future in which everyone can access the right evidence in the right format at the right time to make sound decisions.

When my kids are sick, I want to have good evidence to discuss with the physician about the different therapy choices.

When my mother is sick, I want her to understand the evidence and being able to understand it.

When I get sick, I want to find evidence that I can trust and that helps me to have meaningful discussions with my healthcare professionals.

I want to live in a world, where the media reports correctly about medical evidence and in which society distinguishes between fake evidence and real evidence.

Let’s work together to achieve this.