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8 Ways to Influence People

8 Ways to Influence People

Jonathan Farrington

June 23, 2009

You know, the way in which we behave as managers and the approach we take, will most definitely have a marked effect on our ultimate success or failure – sounds obvious?

Having a range of approaches and styles of behavior gives us more flexibility. It increases our options – and our chances of success.

Natural Styles

Most managers have a natural style of influence which they prefer to use whenever possible. More flexible managers also keep in reserve a fall back style, used when the preferred style doesn’t achieve the desired results.

However, there are at least eight identifiable styles of influence – not including aggression, manipulation or force!

Because you are influencing a wide range of people, proficiency in a wider range of styles will ensure more success. Step outside the comfort zone of your natural style and enjoy greater success by practicing new ways of influencing.

However, do think carefully which influencing style has the greatest chance of succeeding. Varying your styles too much may give you a reputation for being unpredictable

1. The Autocratic Approach

You tell them, they agree.

This approach works best when supported by power, authority, age, knowledge or wisdom. Resistance or objections are minimized. You tell others what you want them to do and they do it.

Do remember though, that autocracy can be a high-risk strategy. It may result in a feeling of ‘You won, I lost’. They’ll get you next time.

2. The Collaborative Approach

You include others in the decision-making process.

This approach works successfully without you having any power or authority.

A word of caution, democracy takes time and can result in watered down solutions.

Remain consistently collaborative. Don’t give up too early. Avoid imposing too many parameters or conditions – these will create frustration in others.

3. The Logical Approach

You use clear logical, unassailable arguments, supported by proof.

This approach works best when the other person is a logical, linear thinker. Avoid exaggeration and unnecessary emotion. Offer instead facts and figures.

But you may find this style long-winded and frustrating. You may even be forced to put it in writing. Allow time to prepare your argument, time to explain it, time to wait for a reaction.

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