BY ROBERT MARX, CRCM, CIA
SEVERAL YEARS AGO, my department manager traveled to each of the locations in his charge, asking each site’s manager to make a presentation about an important new process or improvement. I chose to present the work of my team, as it had been strongly praised by
regulators and the businesses we supported. However, my boss interrupted slide
after slide of my presentation asking, “Why are you telling me this?” Puzzled,
I replied, “I want to show you the great work my team is doing. They deserve
recognition.” And, I continued the presentation. My manager finally interjected,
“I would have to be stupid not to know this.”
I froze; the presentation had failed. I had focused on what I thought I would want
to know if I had been in my manager’s position, and I didn’t think about what my
manager actually wanted to hear.
In Compliance, we issue reports, give presentations, and provide support to man-
agement at different levels in the organization. We are attempting to influence
management to take action whether we are:
■ ■ ■ Updating executives on the status of an open issue;
■ ■ ■ Giving the results of a compliance review;
■ ■ ■ Explaining why the business line should not take a particular action; or
■ ■ ■ Presenting the need for more resources.
We are typically not in the position where we can command our fellow bank
employees to do what we are asking. Instead, we must rely on the art of persuasion,
knowing the action we’re requesting will not be granted unless it is both credible
Influence is based on trust, and trust is built through how and what we communicate.
The Importance of