Tag Archives: Influence

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The use of non-anonymous feedback assessment tools has long been a source of controversy.  There is discomfort in some organizational cultures when using these tools.  We believe there is much to gain when people know who is giving them feedback.  In talking about this I’d like to use SMS’ behavior-based assessment tool called the Influence Style Questionnaire (ISQ) as an example.  The ISQ asks participants to gather feedback from others, preferably from a variety of people including direct reports, peers, and managers…even spouses.  The tool focuses on frequency information only, not effectiveness judgments.  This is important! It does NOT ask how effective a person is at influencing, whether positive or negative. To those who resist non-anonymous tools, the overall feeling is that people will not  Read the full article…

Under Your Core Influence

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I always start the year by investigating what others have to say about the future human, economic, technological and socio-political trends. It’s fascinating how, according to the analysts, each year continues to be “one of the most significant years in world history”. Maybe it IS part of the human condition to want to continuously experience renewal and meaningfulness. Surely, 2014 must be more worthy than “just another year!” I, too, intend to have a new life in 2014. This year, I want to live free from fear of loss and embarrassment. I yearn for more youthfulness, humour, core connections, freedom and fun-filled creativeness. I intend to create this in my life and for those around me, regardless of what the world of economics throws our  Read the full article…

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Our Positive Power and Influence Program focuses on the use of personal, not positional power. Many people use their positional power in very productive ways. However, if the number one reason people leave their jobs is because of their bosses, it would indicate that people in positions of power do not use that power very effectively. We have traditional power relationships, like manager to direct report, but we also have power relationships with suppliers and partners. It is interesting to me that so many organizations give lip service to developing positive relationships with suppliers and win-win negotiations. The problem is that if procurement has specific objectives concerning money spent, and they are in a power position due to size, they still seem to act as  Read the full article…

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At birth, we began to express our personal needs to those around us, often very directly! While parents and relatives often complied because they were “supposed to,” a more subtle process was at work. At this early stage of our lives, we recognized that these important others felt rewarded by our smiles and felt unhappy or even punished by our tears. We built quickly on this fundamental discovery as our needs became more complex. We learned to state our likes and dislikes more clearly to support our demands. We discovered the value of bargaining and appealing to others’ personal needs in order to meet our own. We learned that it is not always necessary to give reasons for our needs, that it was possible to  Read the full article…

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Group meetings present a major opportunity to use your power and influence skills positively. You can direct a group’s concentrated attention toward your objectives in a relatively short period of time. You can address issues or objections in front of all concerned parties. Your investment of time and energy in preparing for and participating in meetings has a high potential return. Group meetings also present risks in using your power and influence skills positively. You may have difficulty achieving your goals.  In groups, many complex interactions occur that you may not be able to anticipate or control. Time and space limitations may restrict your ability to maneuver. Person-to-person skills that work well in two-person meetings sometimes fail in groups. People tend to adapt their individual  Read the full article…

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What makes a good leader? So many people ask this question. There are statements such as “good leaders are born, not made.”  Some people say that leadership is about influence. Others insist it’s about making decisions. As I write this, I realize that leadership comes in moments, and anyone can be a leader. I think it’s 1) the ability to recognize the moment, 2) determining the required action, and 3) influencing people. Simple, right? Sometimes those three things can take months, and sometimes it can happen in a matter of seconds. The most dramatic are those decisions that are made in seconds – usually extreme situations where a decision is made, people are influenced and lives are saved. I don’t have many of those moments  Read the full article…

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Positional power is limited. The organization divides power and resources among individual positions to achieve its mission. Position or job descriptions provide a roadmap or template of how individual members of an organization should work together. Each job description authorizes a functional group or manager to conduct a specific aspect of organizational business. Delegation of power and authority by others is finite. Individuals often place limits on their own positional power. While positional power is already finite and limited, many people do not use or claim all that is available to them. They may fear conflict with others, but more often they may not understand what behaviors support the positive use of positional power. Furthermore, certain value conflicts may exist in the organizational culture that  Read the full article…

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Are you sitting at your desk reading this blog?  Where are you?  Look around you. Don’t think.  What does your energy feel like? What do you feel right now?  Are you happy?  Frustrated?  Meh? What does your body feel like?  Are you feeling energetic? Tired?  Sore? How aware are you of your energy and where it is in your body? When I work with people around the impact they are having on other people, I look at and feel their energy. I talk about Push, Pull and Moving Away Energy and that there’s positive, neutral and negative uses of influence energy. For example, push energy comes from your head when you are using logic. If you’re passionate, and trying to influence someone with your logical  Read the full article…

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Many definitions of leadership involve the word INFLUENCE. “Leadership is influence, nothing more, nothing less.” (John Maxwell) What does influence have to do with leadership, though?  A leader needs to do two things: build or maintain relationships, and get things done. What is common to all cultures is the need for a leader whom people trust and admire. But in the global organizations that exist today, what makes someone trustworthy and admirable when you have five different cultures in the room as those attributes are viewed differently across cultures? Also, there are various personality types in addition to cultural differences. Lastly, don’t forget the various levels of dysfunction that exist in most corporate cultures! Therefore building or maintaining relationships can get complicated. So how do  Read the full article…

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According to Gallup, over 60% of employees either dislike or hate their jobs, and the most common reason is that they have narcissistic bosses.  So it should come as no surprise if you sometimes have trouble dealing with your boss. Just thinking about a high stakes salary negotiation, a sensitive year-end performance review, or having to deliver some kind of “bad news” to your boss can raise your stress level. It’s hard to be at your best in such situations. It will be a lot easier once you’ve crafted your influence strategy. Any time you need to influence upward, clarity is key. So prepare accordingly. First, get clear in your mind what’s working or not working, from your perspective, and what you hope or expect  Read the full article…