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How to Break Down Silos & Influence Others in Under 90 Days

Break down silos funny cartoon

In organizations, we bump into others. That's part of the deal. But what if these conflicts get in the way of our business achieving more? Clients who have followed our guidance to break down silos benefitted from change in under 90 days.

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  • Relationship: How much does the other person trust you? How can you improve your relationship with them? Surprise them by asking how you can support them. (And don't ask for anything in return.) Develop this as a recurring practice.

  • Walk in their shoes: Analyze the reasons they are resisting change as shown below (via Deborah Kolb):

List of good reasons for saying no to break down silos
  • Save face: Tell them you know they're operating fairly and with their department's best in mind. This will help them save face.

  • Strike when the iron is hot: Leveraging your strengthened relationship and assessment of why they are saying no, be constructively opportunistic with a confrontive intervention. Come up with a compromise, not an ideal, and propose at a good time for the other person, e.g. when they are in a good mood or when they ask how they can support YOU!


Chris Duffy leads Amplify Leadership Partners, a leadership consulting and coaching firm with expertise in retaining and motivating talent to achieve organizational success. He received his master's in Organizational Psychology with a specialization in Change Management from Columbia University. He's based in Connecticut and works with clients nationwide.

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