When it comes to connecting with people, persuading them to do stuff for you, similarity works.
It doesn't matter if it's how you dress, speak, background, age, religion or what, we like people who are more like us and find them more persuasive.
Now let's be honest about the main challenge of planning. Planners have no power.
Maybe, they get to sign off creative briefs, possibly in some places, they need to sign of work before it goes to the client.
Honestly though, suits get to decide things all the time, it's their job. That includes strategy.
So do creatives.
It's they who really decide if the brief is right, by working from it or not.
It doesn't matter if God himself has signed it off, if they don't think the strategy is right, they won't use it.
Even worse, they might think it's right, but can't see any good work coming from it. So do something else.
And of course, client's decide everything.
So you, when planners have to persuade everyone, never tell, it makes sense to think about how you be more persuasive.
Because you certainly can't tell anyone, "Because I say so".
One use is that 'peas in the pod' syndrome.
That probably doesn't mean wearing suits because the client does.
I'm sure it means not putting on a Canadian accent to mirror a copywriter.
But look at every person you need to influence and work out what you have in common, or what you could have in common.
What they care about. What they like. What they're afraid of, what get's them frustrated. Their humour.
A quick trick is mirroring body language. In any meeting, don't copy people, they'll think you're strange, but try and subtly echo how they're sitting, what they're doing with their hands.
Lean forward when they do. Body language is an extensions of how we feel. Mirror somone else's and they'll trust you without knowing why, not realising you've made them believe you feel like them saying a single word.
But the reality is taking time to know people's motivations, their hopes, dreams and daily gripes. So you can share them and hopefully help.
That goes for the people we're all paid to influence- target customers.
It's really tempting for planning folk to try and look different. People need to want you because you'll add something different. But, perversely, you might get further if you make them feel you're not that different after all.