How to Become a Trusted Advisor and Influence Without Authority

The Influencing Formula

By Elizabeth Larson, PMP, CBAP and
Richard Larson, PMP, CBAP

Become a trusted advisor!
Information workers such as business analysts, project managers, process analysts, and others have to influence various stakeholders, regardless of their position in the organization. What makes this ability to influence without authority seem so easy for some and nearly impossible for others?

Successful influencers have learned to be trusted advisors in their organizations. They follow three steps which the authors call the “Influencing Formula.”

Watermark Learning uses this unique project-focused book in our training course: Influencing without Authority. This guide is packed with countless practical tips, techniques, and examples of how to influence without authority. The authors together have amassed over 60 years of first-hand experience running projects and doing business analysis in small, medium, and large organizations. Their experience as practitioners, combined with over 20 years of running their company, Watermark Learning, provides them a realistic and proven base of knowledge and skills at being influential. Benefit from their experience in this practical guide!

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Influencing Without Authority Training

What you'll learn:


  • Use a 10-question self-assessment questionnaire to determine if you are ready to be a trusted advisor.
  • Learn how to overcome the six common barriers to influencing without authority.


  • Learn numerous techniques to build trust with stakeholders, and avoid the most common ways to “bust” trust with them.
  • For virtual teams, discover the top 10 techniques for building trust and collaboration when you are physically separated.


  • Receive extensive coverage of six effective preparation techniques that will increase influence.
  • Uncover 12 proven tools to help with consultative preparation and greater influence, including over 100 consultative questions to choose from to help understand business needs and requirements for projects.


  • Learn 7 keys to being courageous and how to employ them effectively on projects and gain support for your ideas and recommendations.
  • Find out the 10 most common mistakes that project professionals make with difficult stakeholders and how to avoid them.


“The Larson duo have succeeded once again in authoring this essential text for business analysts and project managers. The Influencing Formula provides tried-and-true tools and techniques, and some that are even magical. Anyone who has a leadership role in contemporary projects designed to drive business innovation should have the Larsons' indispensable book on their shelves.”

—Kitty Hass, PMP, Author of The Enterprise Business Analyst

“I have been a long-time advocate of meaningfully involving sponsors and clients in their project. It is difficult, but essential to project success, especially implementation. Here is a book that will create awareness about how to establish effective client relationships between the PM or BA and their sponsoring agency. The Larsons have given us solid advice on how to interact with the sponsor and the client that I personally recommend. I will be able to add practices that will strengthen my client relationship efforts. Whatever your client relations situation, you will benefit too. ”

—Robert K. Wysocki, PhD, President EII Publications, Author of Effective Project Management: Traditional, Agile, Extreme

"At last, a 'leadership' book that focuses on the Business Analyst role! The Larsons have assembled a comprehensive collection of knowledge worth practicing in 'BA space', while clearly explaining personal attributes such as character, courage, credibility and leadership. The BABOK lists the underlying competencies, but the Larsons show you how to make them so. Highly recommended."

—Marcos Ferrer, CBAP


Table of Contents

The Influencing Formula

Chapter 1: Introduction to Influencing

Chapter 2: Influence and Authority

Chaper 3: Building Trust

Chapter 4: Influential Preparation

Chapter 5: Stakeholder Analysis

Chapter 6: Influential Consulting Skills

Chapter 7: Consultative Questioning

Chapter 8: Developing the Courage to be Influential

Chapter 9: Influencing Difficult Stakeholders

Epilogue: Putting the Influencing Formula Together

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