Getting things done through others is a key part or even the definition of leadership and her clients face often the same situation like statisticians. They need to convince people rather than commanding them.

In this episode we have our first non-statistician as a guest. Julia has build her own consulting and training company Zestfor. She and her team specialise in developing Training programmes and resources scientifically tailored for technical markets – including Pharmaceutical, IT, and Life

  • Why statisticians need to be more influential?
  • Is influencing actually something bad on inappropriate?
  • What characterises an influential person?
  • influence?
  • Many statisticians are more introvert. As such, how can they deal with more extrovert business partners from other functions?

Julia Carter (MRPharmS, MCIPD)

Director, Zestfor Ltd.

Julia has over 24 years experience in the blue-chip corporate world with more than 15 years in learning and development roles. She has designed and delivered management and employee development programmes for all levels of employees including Senior Managers and Directors throughout the UK and Europe, and across the globe.Julia is a hands on, highly motivating training professional and coach who passionately believes every individual can be the person they really want to be when they are given the right tools, support and direction to get there.

Qualifications & Accreditations: Certified Online Learning Facilitator, Insights® Licensed Practitioner, Certified Career Coach, CIPD qualified in CTP, Strengthscope® Practitioner, EQ-i 2.0 /EQ 360 Certification, Belbin, MBTI, MRPharmS – Qualified Pharmacist, and BPharm(Hons) – Bachelor of Pharmacy, King’s College, London.

  • Which practices help statisticians to increase their
  • Relationships are key for influencing without authority. Trust is key for building these relationships. What can statisticians do, to generate more trust?
  • Networking is another aspect of building relationships. What actions to take to build networks?
  • Many of us work in virtual settings to some extent. This poses additional barriers on influencing others as it is much harder to be heard and understood. Which techniques can we apply to overcome these hurdles?

Finally, we have curated the best of Julias content from her blog at in terms of leadership, which you can download here:

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Impactful influencing: actionable advice to get things done through and with others – Interview with Julia Carter

Episode 17 of the Effective Statistician Impactful influencing, actionable advice to get things done through and with others Interview with Julia Carter

Welcome to the Effective Statistician with Alexander Schachter and Benjamin Piske, the weekly podcast for statisticians in the health sector designed to improve your leadership skills, widen your business acumen and enhance your efficiency. In today’s episode we have a guest, Julia Carter. She is our first non-statistician guest. Julia has built her own consulting and training company SESC4 and she and her team specializes

training programs and resources scientifically tailored for technical markets.

and said especially tailored also for statisticians. This podcast is sponsored by PSI, a global member organization dedicated to leading and promoting best practice and industry initiatives. Join PSI today to further develop your statistical capabilities with access to special interest groups, the video on demand content library, free registration to all PSI webinars and much much more.

Visit the PSI website at to learn more about PSI activities and become a PSI member.

Welcome to another episode of the Effective Statistician. I’m here as usual with my co-host Benjamin. Hi, Benjamin. Hello, Alexander. And we have a very, very special guest today. Hi, Julia. Hello. Hi, Alex. Nice to talk to you today. So today we’ll talk about impactful influencing. And that is one of the key expertise topics of Julia.

Julia, maybe you can first introduce a little bit about what you’re doing, a little bit about your career, and actually maybe a little bit about how we got in touch. Okay, thank you. Thank you for inviting me along to be interviewed today, Alex. It’s a real pleasure to be here. Yes, so my name’s Julia Carter, and I am the founding director of Zest4.

At Zest4, we work with leaders and teams, specifically leaders and teams of technical groups. And originally, my background was a pharmacist. So I worked as a pharmacist in the UK, obviously a very technical specialty role. And then I spent 15 years of my career working within the pharmaceutical industry, where obviously I realized my passion was very much working with people and supporting people to

to be really powerful leaders. So that’s my passion. And Zest4 specializes very much in supporting technical experts to be strong leaders, strong influencers, basically to be more effective within the roles that they do. And we met each other, Alex, when we were working at Eli Lilly originally, and through my business at Zest4, which I started nearly 10 years ago now.

I’ve been doing a lot of work within the statisticians group and other technical specialty areas within pharmaceutical industries generally, but not uniquely. Obviously, what I do works and applies to anybody who works with people and empowering people to be more impactful when they interact with others. More recently, I’ve been focusing very much around the virtual workplace because more and more teams now are working virtually.

Obviously, adding in the virtual lens creates even more challenge for people, especially in the arena of influencing and leadership. So I hope that gives you enough information for now. Yeah, very good. The different trainings that I got via your team, especially you, were really, really helpful. So…

Why do you think statisticians or, you know, technical people maybe in general need to be more influential? So when you get hired for these trainings, what are the kind of salt points of the different customers, why they want these trainings? Well, specifically around influencing, I think the biggest challenge that

anybody working in a technical specialty and statisticians, I would definitely class as that. I think generally speaking, there’s often a, whilst the technical expertise is so strong, the ability to actually then get heard, be noticed, speak up, can become very challenging in particular for certain personality types. And my experience is often these people who are brilliant technically.

not always, but often can be more on the introverted scale. So their natural tendency to speak up, speak out, challenge, maybe even what they might perceive as creating conflict, prevents them from actually being able to really exhibit their expertise and be heard. So I think it’s crucial that statisticians and other technical experts are able to express, discuss, speak up.

but there’s many reasons why that doesn’t happen. So if you speak about personality types, I’m just thinking about one of your expertise is insights and to see personality types based on that. And I just know from my experience that a lot of the statisticians are more kind

blue or green area of insights. Can you speak a little bit to what that means? Of course, yes. So people who are either on the more introverted spectrum of personality, this means that their preference is to reflect internally, to have time to think things through before they speak out in general.

It doesn’t mean they can’t speak out, but their preference is to internalize information, process it and then put their case forward. Often, when you have people working from that preference, especially if they’re working – and the classic is working – and I apologize straightaway for generalizing personality types and functions, but generally speaking, people who work in sales and marketing functions tend to be more on the extrovert scale.

So quite often what I hear is people, for want of a better word, hogging the time than the limelight in meetings. And you can imagine this is even harder in virtual setting, that people who are more on the introverted scale don’t have the opportunity to speak out so much, or they don’t put themselves forward. And I think what I often see, especially in technical areas, people that are being given new information in the moment,

and then being expected to give an opinion on that information. And that is really hard for people who are more internal in the way they work because they need time to analyze, to consider. And because of the way these types are, they won’t speak out if they haven’t had time to fully process the information. And when I ask why, it’s around not wanting to be wrong and not wanting to give information that hasn’t been logically…

and carefully thought through. So it’s an interesting challenge and one where I feel that statisticians end up not being able to be heard at the table because of this fear of not maybe speaking up the correct answer because they haven’t had the time to do that reflection with the new information they’ve just been given. Does that make sense? Yeah, yeah. Ben, you really have you been in these kind of situations before?

Well, yes, not necessarily with statisticians, but I think this is the general type of persons that you just described. I think this is one of the major areas where people need to be trained and need to grow in their expertise to really take…

the leadership or say, speak out and make themselves heard during meetings and especially, I mean today we are just, in our days we are basically spending most of our time in teleconferences. So doing this virtually with other people and other teams. So I think this is a great topic and especially as you mentioned before statisticians or technical leaders are more.

introvert. And I think this is typical, this is the typical, you know, how you would describe mathematicians or statisticians. It’s kind of an introvert person. So this is really something where we, it’s a big topic for us. Yeah. Absolutely. And Alex, I just wanted to talk about the, the, there was a very rough survey done.

when I was working with Alex and what was coming up, barriers to speaking up at meetings was an interesting one. And there were three or four main reasons. And just to highlight what I just said, the reasons were not feeling that they have enough knowledge to contribute in the moment. So again, there’s a confidence piece there. Uncomfortable speaking without enough preparation. Not believing that they have anything significant to add. So that would, I would diagnose around

self-esteem and self-worth. It’s hard to get a word in when I’m on the phone. That’s an interesting one, which goes to the point I made earlier. And then the final one was around being afraid of being wrong. So, you know, very, very common and very, very challenging, I think, when you’ve got all this technical expertise within somebody to try and get that out of their heads in the moment.

Yeah, so that is actually a very interesting angle about this problem with exposing yourself and having the… Saying something that might be wrong and that you might need to correct afterwards. I think that has a lot to do with trust and relationships. And I think…

So the funny thing is that has directly then something to do with influencing. But maybe we can go back a little bit in terms of the influencing piece. So influencing is maybe kind of a weird word because some people might connect it with manipulating people.

And then, you know, is that something bad or is that something good? What’s kind of your answer to that question? Yeah, yeah. And I think it does depend on what’s the motivation behind the influencing. You know, if it’s only for your own output and it’s very selfishly all about you.

then I would say that then it is potentially seen as manipulation. But I would hope within an organization that there is a reason, a purpose behind the goal of the influencing. And when I work with people to help them be more effective at influencing, one of the first steps I talk about is really, really being clear about what is it that you want as an outcome of the influencing and to just check in that that outcome.

is in alignment with the strategy of the organization at whole. What can happen a lot, especially with people who don’t have power, and I’m using that with inverted commas around it, position power, so maybe they don’t have leader or manager in their title, and a lot of technical experts will be in this position where they need to influence but they don’t have power because they haven’t got manager or leader in their title.

So that can be a challenge. But to your point, it’s around what’s the motivation behind the influencing. And I think as long as the mindset is, I know what the outcome is, and I know how that outcome aligns to the bigger picture of the organization, it should never feel like manipulation. Manipulation occurs when the other person feels negative about the outcome. And as long as influencing is done in a mindset of win-win.

which then goes across to more of negotiation, but sometimes influencing can lead to negotiation as well. So it’s a really interesting one, influencing, and I think mindset plays a huge part in it as a process, and that’s what I often work with people on their mindset as a starter, along with what is the desired outcome, what is it that you want from the influencing. And a lot of people don’t spend enough time at that preparation phase around

why? What is it? Why do I want this? What is the outcome I want? And why do I want it? Yeah, so I think first is kind of getting clear in your head about why and not only about why you want it, but also why the other person wants it. And I think that’s where the negotiation and the getting clear about things and yeah, and that also actually leads to relationship building.

If you create win-win situations, and everybody can kind of see how we benefit from moving forward in a certain direction. So, for example, you want to change the design of a study and showing how that will overall impact the complete team, how it will overall help the complete strategy. And…

how you can get things done better for the company. Yeah, maybe like a more general point. I mean, as I said, if you try to convince people, maybe one step back is, when you mentioned that there’s, we are talking also about not the powerful people, the ones with the leader or with the director and the title. So that one aspect is that you,

network and work together with other people on a specific goal, so influencing indirectly, let’s say, or with support of other people. Isn’t this something or one of the biggest impacts and especially big companies or bigger companies that you need to work on or you need to get familiar with the network, working within a company?

in order to achieve your goals to be influential? Absolutely. And if you are an unknown and people only know you maybe by a name, then your power of influencing is going to be hugely disabled. Having one of the one of the I talk about power influencing power in my impactful influencing program and

personal relationship power is one of the list of different powers that are available to people. And one that I think is so easy to develop. It does take time, obviously, but really getting to know the people who are in your network, who you know you’re going to need to be influencing as part of your role. Building that personal relationship is absolutely critical. And I think people don’t do enough of it, especially in the virtual space. And really getting yourself known. I mean, even down to having…

a photograph of yourself on every possible touch point where people, when they look you up, they at least know what you look like. And Alex will know that I go on and on and on about turning on cameras when people communicate with each other so that relationships can be built. I mean, there’s many other ways, but that whole personal relationship piece plays a huge part in having power and enabling yourself to feel more.

to have more impact. It’s obvious really when we talk about it. But that’s so strongly linked to trust because if we don’t have relationship with individuals, if we don’t feel we know the individual, we’re not going to trust them. So trust plays a huge part in influencing as to Alex’s point earlier. So yeah, it’s a fascinating topic. And I think power, some people challenge me on that word, but for want of a better word, you know,

actually thinking about what power do I have here in this influencing relationship? And we all have access to different types of power. Sometimes it is position power, sometimes it’s not. What certainly statisticians have power, and again, Alex knows I bring this up a lot, is expert power. As statisticians, unless you are a statistician, no one is going to challenge your expertise. So if you’re influencing from a statistical perspective, that’s a huge

a bonus or power that you need to be pulling on. There’s many different forms of power. Information power is something, again, that I think statisticians maybe don’t appreciate the information you have, that others do not. That gives you power. So there’s many different ways. I always ask people to sit down and think in each situation where you need to influence which…

powers do you have available to you and which ones are you going to use in that instance? And if that one hasn’t worked, can you pull on another one? And relationship power is the one that really there’s no excuse to not have because we can all spend time building relationships. It’s just whether or not the motivation to do that is there. And actually, I think the relationship power is probably the most influential power of all. It’s more influential than role power. And I think it’s also

more influential sense and expertise power. But on the other hand, to play with the network and play with the relationship power, you need to be influential. So it’s kind of a circle where you say, you know, on the one side, you need the expertise to build the expertise. No, no. I think it’s actually you influence.

through these powers, I would say. So just as a little bit of a story to explain the point about trust and relationship and expertise power. So I recently had a very, very interesting story. So we had a virtual meeting and it was some kind of governance meeting where new projects were discussed. And someone from a…

and see there was someone in Indianapolis that kind of was a chair of the meeting and someone else from one of the affiliates was proposing his project.

And the leader in Indianapolis more or less directly said, no, I don’t know you, so I don’t trust you, so you can’t go ahead. And that was really kind of the story. And it had nothing to do with the expertise of this person. So he was in his position for, I don’t know, 15 years within the affiliate. He had all the expertise power. But.

He had no power to get his project started because he didn’t spend any time in building the relationship upfront. I think this is… He also didn’t turn on his camera or anything like this and introduced himself or something like this to build a little bit of a relationship in the meeting.

So he couldn’t pull on any powers and so completely failed. And only when I interfered and said, okay, I’ve looked into this project and it all makes sense and I had a very good relationship with that leader. She said, oh yeah, if you think that’s good.

I trust you that you looked into it and then you can go ahead. And it was, you know, it was purely about trust and this relationship power. Yeah. Yeah, I don’t know you, so therefore why should I trust you? Yeah, it’s an interesting topic. And there’s a great trust equation that David Meister and Charles Green have got a book called The Trusted Advisor.

And within that, there is a trust equation. And I always smile when I share this with scientists because to be able to put an equation around something as ethereal as trust, how do you measure trust? And the trust equation states that the level of trustworthiness, my level of trustworthiness equals my credibility in your eyes plus my reliability plus…

the strength of the equation states intimacy. And what that means is how safe or secure does the other person feel that I will do it and how well do you really know me? So it’s credibility plus reliability plus intimacy divided by self-orientation. And that’s the piece that people sometimes get wrong. If it’s all about me, every single time we interact, if it’s all because I want something,

I am diluting the level of trustworthiness that you have towards me. Does that make sense? Yeah, that’s actually a very, very interesting equation. Maybe we can go a little bit through the different components and speak to each of these. So what you can actually do to improve these things. So maybe let’s go kind of backwards. So what can you do to kind of reduce the…

denominator there. So to make sure you’re not perceived as self-oriented or maybe start with not being self-oriented. Absolutely. So that’s around really stepping into the shoes of the other person, and hopefully being able to see what’s in it for them as a result of the influencing. And this is something that I will call empathy.

This is the one thing that a lot of people who attend my training program come away with and just say one of the biggest learnings I’ve taken is the importance of empathy, i.e. stepping into the shoes of the other person, the person I’m trying to influence, and really thinking about what is their perspective on this situation. Because by doing that, I can prepare, I can plan, I can come up with all of the possible

challenges that they may have because they are them and really seeing it from their perspective. So spending time doing that preparation and asking the questions of what might be their attitude around this situation at the moment and coming from that place really does stop it all being about me and getting my…

my outcome. The other piece I think is also, as I said earlier, around really connecting with the goals of the organisation because sometimes people can get very focused on their own functional goals and not looking at the bigger picture. So I think being more strategic in the reasoning why. And interestingly, sometimes that when you actually spend time doing that in your preparation, sometimes you get to the point of thinking, actually, I shouldn’t even be trying to influence it because this isn’t…

this isn’t the right thing to be doing, I’ve been too narrow minded in my approach here. So that can kick up some interesting outcomes. But yeah, it’s around really thinking about why the benefits for the organization, the team, the bigger picture, and not just about for me. Yeah, so I think this starting with why is well, there’s, how should I say, Simon Sinek, said that talks always about it. And I think if you go into a conversation and

start with explaining why you are doing this and why it’s helpful for everybody. That’s very good. But I think there’s also the active listening part in it to really understand what the other person’s view is and take time to learn about that. Absolutely. To really focus on their needs, to really focus on their concerns rather than just making it all about.

what you want to get out of it. The other key words that you just mentioned were the intimacy. So what is, or what you described as intimacy, is why would you think, or is this so important and how is this being built in a company or within colleagues? Yeah, yeah. And the word, when people see the word intimacy, obviously people go, hmm, that’s an interesting word.

What this relates to is how safe, how secure does the person feel about entrusting sensitive information, for example, with them? So, you know, I need to trust that that information is going to be kept safe. It’s how much do I trust you? If I tell you something, do I know that that’s going to stay with you? So it’s this level of connection. I mean, I also look at this as how strong is my relationship with you as well, because I’m never going to feel

I can trust somebody if I don’t even know them because I’ve never spoken to them. I may not have even seen them. So why would I give information or share information with them when I have no idea what they’re going to do with it? So it’s about feeling secure, connected, intimate, safe with that working relationship. So that’s what that connects to. And that very much is around building personal relationships, plays a part in building that level of intimacy.

Yeah, I think there is really kind of being interested in the other person and learning about the other person, their kind of pain points, what are their hobbies. It’s really funny, but just speaking about the last football game with some people helps a long way to build these kind of relationships sometimes.

Yeah, sometimes Alex, not for everybody. Especially not about the very human. But yeah, something, and this is, I had an interesting conversation with someone the other day who, when I talk about building relationships, and let’s just put the virtual lens on now. If I’m working with somebody who is a totally different background,

area of expertise, sitting in a different country with a different language. We don’t turn the camera on. They have no idea what I look like because if they Google me, I’m anonymous. I don’t even exist. I’m never going to feel that I trust that person. So I do spend quite a lot of time talking about personal brand. If somebody was to Google me, I’m going to be like, oh, I’m going to be like, oh, I’m going to be like, oh, I’m

And I know it does, this gets tricky sometimes within organizations, especially where people do want to remain more anonymous for personal safety reasons. But generally speaking, most people now are Googleable. If there’s such a word, I think I might just have made up a word. But you know, if you Google Julia Carter’s S4, you will see photos of me, you will see my my brand, you will get a feeling of who I am and what I do. And in today’s world,

that’s really important. And even within organizations, I come across people who don’t even have their photograph on their personal profile. So how am I ever gonna know you or get to know you? Sometimes I don’t even know what sex the person is because I can’t work it out from their name. So these things are something, if we want to be influential, we really do need to focus on how, when people reach out to touch me, what’s the experience they have?

and that’s around personal brand, really important and something that especially within corporates, people I think don’t spend enough time thinking about at a personal level. They think about the corporate brand, they think about maybe a product brand, they don’t think about their own individual brand and it’s really, really plays a key part in everything we’re talking about under the heading of influencing, but specifically under this heading of intimacy, also credibility as well, which we’ll come to in a second.

Do you sense the passion there? So let’s talk shortly about credibility. Yeah, so credibility is really about how credible are we on the subjects that we’re talking about, or the role that we’re playing. In other words, do we really know what we’re talking about? Now, this is an interesting one, especially for people who are more junior, because I often have people say, oh, well, I’m new to this. And therefore, I’m not as

experienced and therefore not as credible as Alex, who’s been in this for X number of years. Again, this is where mindset plays a huge part in influencing. Just to put that as an aside, because I know we don’t have time to go into mindset as well, being credible, showing up credibly, every experience that people have with you needs

they need to be walking away feeling that you have been credible in that interaction. So what I will always say to more junior members of teams is, no one is going to expect you to be the expert because you have only been in the organization for six months or in your technical area of expertise for a few months. So to be relaxed and to stop comparing to people who are going to have more credibility because they are more experienced. And I do find people…

hold themselves back with their own mindset, telling them that they don’t know enough or they’re not as good as, and really working on that sort of self-confidence piece is also important. But it’s around creating positive experiences that when people touch you, and I’m talking email, telephone calls, any interaction where you are touched by an individual to make sure it feels credible for that other person without being inauthentic.

And that’s something just to watch out. Sometimes I find people trying too hard and then that doesn’t feel authentic, which can also impact credibility. Yeah, but I think it’s really kind of making promises and keeping to these promises is already the first step. And that is irrespective of how senior you are.

Yeah, and actually, Alex, if you don’t mind me interrupting, I would say that comes that falls under the reliability. So we have credibility and reliability. So I totally agree. It does play it does. It hangs under the heading of credibility. But specifically, it’s the it’s the are the reliability part of the equation. So let me give an example, especially again, in virtual, if you say you’re going to send something through by the end of play by the end of the day on Thursday, and you know, that’s not going to happen.

to be proactive at telling people that due to conflicting deadlines, unfortunately, this deadline won’t be met, but that you will be sending it by lunchtime on Friday. For example, it’s being proactive at being reliable. And if you can’t stick to your word to put your hand up and again be authentic about it. That’s just an example. Well we have touched on so many, many different things here and so many different

topics and guidances and tips on how to better be influential, also influential virtually. And there’s so much more. But I think you have something special for our listeners today, don’t you? I do. So we have pulled together a document called Impact Fluor Influencing, which is a selection of articles.

that Zest4 has created. And it discusses quite a few of the topics we’ve talked about today, amongst other things. So yes, that’s, I think people will find a very interesting read. Yeah. So you can find that on our homepage, thee And just go to the show notes of this episode with Julia Carter, and then you’ll get see this ebook there.

In terms of you, Julia, where people can find you and your company? So my company is That’s So you’ll find you can contact me through that and also on LinkedIn. If you search Julia Carter and Zestfor, I’m very happy to connect to anybody who would like to. We regularly post our articles within LinkedIn.

and we get some very positive feedback that they’re very useful to people. So if you want to follow Zestfor on LinkedIn, please feel free to do so. Excellent. Okay. Thanks. Thanks a lot, Julia. It was really great talking to you today. Thanks a lot for following our invite and having this chat. It was very helpful. I, well, I think we’re off for today and

You can listen to us next week with the next episode. And for today, we say bye. Bye. Thank you. Bye. We thank PSI for sponsoring this show. Thanks for listening. Please visit thee to find the show notes and learn more about our podcast to boost your career as a statistician in the health sector. If you enjoyed the show, please tell your colleagues about it.

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