Push and pull influence refers to two opposing influence types: Push type influence: Urging or forcing a person or group to perform a task, rather than motivating them to comply or help. Pull type influence: Attempting to motivate a person or group to want to comply or perform the task at hand. At first glance, it may seem that push is bad and pull is good. However, they can both be good or bad depending on the tactics and desired outcome. Push Type Influence Push influence can take many forms. Some forms we all see and follow on a daily basis, some we choose to follow for our own wellbeing, and others we try to avoid because they attempt to force us where we do not want to go. Some push influences include legal requirements, expert authority, industry standards, societal norms, and regulatory mandates. All these pushes are to keep [...]
As a CEO, department manager, or individual contributor, the ability to influence your peers, vendors, clients, and others is key to both your organization and your professional reputation. When people think about influencing others, they often think about short-term tactics that are sales-like in approach and appearance. While these certainly are influence techniques, I would like you to widen your thinking and perspective on influence within the workplace and in general. Below are seven key influence strategies that can be used alone or in combination to achieve your desired outcome. 1. Strategic Influence Strategic influence is a long-term, holistic approach to building the influence you would like to wield in the future. This could be leadership in a business, technical, or social arena. It could also be quietly and efficiently building credibility, connections, skills, knowledge, and/or infrastructure for use in the future. Strategic influence may mean taking a leadership role [...]
I have spent many years designing and teaching classes on various types of interpersonal communication, including: negotiation, change management, conflict, leadership, difficult conversations, motivation, requesting approval, delegation, and others. All of these interpersonal activities are enhanced by the same mechanism—trusting relationships with the individuals with whom you are interacting. You don’t have to be friends. Even though being friends may help, it is not required. Think about your personal experiences. Are you more easily influenced by someone you trust? Are you more likely to go home with a negotiated agreement if you believe the other party will hold up their end of the deal? As a manager, it is more comfortable and less stressful to delegate to someone you know will do their best to complete the task without attempting to undermine you in the process. This brings us to an interesting question: “How can we build trust in someone [...]
When I teach my class “Leading through Influence,” I always begin with the same exercise, shown in Figure 1. Its purpose is to help my students understand how much time they spend each day trying to influence people to complete the tasks they have already been asked to perform. You can do this for yourself using the worksheet at the end of this chapter. When the class completes this exercise, the time spent on influence-related activities is noted to be generally between 20 and 75 percent, depending upon job type. Sales professionals, project managers, relationship managers, administrative staff, and managers/executives of all types tend to be in the 50 to 75 percent range. On the lowest end at 5 to 25 percent are people in heads-down, transaction-oriented jobs, such as programmers, accounting staff, and those in operational or process type roles. The general correlation is: the more the role requires [...]
I'm in the process of writing a new book titled: "Office Influence: Get What You Want, From the Mailroom to the Boardroom" ™ To this end, I'm trying to understand how influence is achieved within the workplace via the below survey. As a thank for completing the survey, when the book is published in the spring, I'll give you a free copy of the book and access to various online tools related to the book's content! The survey asks your opinion on how important various personal and professional attributes are to influencing others within the workplace. It also asks a small amount of optional demographic data to assist in the research. Please click here to take our survey on office influence!
Enhancing your workplace influence has many professional advantages. It helps you gain approval for your business initiatives, acquire needed resources, survive organizational realignments, and position you for short-term promotions and long-term professional success. Please click here to take our survey on office influence! Here are 15 techniques that are easy to describe, but very difficult to implement, that will help you maximize your person workplace power and influence. You can't do them all at once. My suggestion to you is to pick the one that most resonates with you personally and work to achieve it. Then, once you have internalized it as part of your professional repertoire, go back to this list a select other items, one at a time, with the goal of continually adding arrows to your professional influence quiver. 1. Provide Execution Excellence Job #1 in any business role is to be a top performer in regard to [...]