Tag Archives: Styles of 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…

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In today’s world, everything is about networking. Yes, it is a buzzword, but we need people, we need relationships, and we need to develop connections internally and externally. Here’s a definition of networking: two people come together to efficiently learn about each other, give a window into who they are and what they do, and create interest to meet again and to explore synergy. What is the organizational outcome? Silos are broken down, mutual support is created, and more efficient solutions are found. Networking broadens our view of the organization, increases innovation, cost effectiveness and efficiencies. For many extroverts, networking comes easily. For introverts, though, it can be a bit more challenging. Think of it in terms of the SMS Situational Influence Model. The first  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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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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Early in our lives, we responded to conflict and anxiety with the instinctive “flight or fight” response. As we grew up, we found a third path. We learned to handle internal or external conflict constructively, to hold off instinctive reactions, and to find more positive ways to solve problems. We found it beneficial to withdraw from heated situations long enough to cool down or change, to think about things and reflect on our own feelings, and to return ready to work through the tension. When we discovered that others had as much difficulty dealing with tension as we did, we became more sensitive to their inability to cope under certain circumstances. We pulled back to give them room to regain their equilibrium. We learned the  Read the full article…

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Human beings are social creatures. We like to spend time with and do things for people we like.  We tend to distance ourselves from people who are “different”.  However, in the workplace we do not generally have the luxury of choosing the people with whom we work. That means that sometimes we have to develop a relationship with someone we don’t like for whatever reason: personality, different opinions, different thinking style, or they just look weird to us.   So many people have said to me: How do I build relationships?  This always seems like such a strange question, but it really is challenging for some of my more technically oriented colleagues.  I usually suggest taking some time to get to know the other person,  Read the full article…

The Power of Words

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When teaching and coaching people on leadership and influence skills, we normally tell them that words have the lowest impact in face-to-face communication when influencing another person. Body language has the highest impact, and tone of voice is the next level of impact. Sayings like: “It’s not what you say it’s how you say it,”  have common sense meaning to most people. It’s nice when research backs up common sense. That’s not to say that the words don’t matter. Of course, they matter! It’s a complete message when I say something and it means the same thing to all people in a group.  It’s congruence when my words, music (tone) and dance (body language) all have the same meaning. A friend of mine has cancer.   Read the full article…

What is Influence?

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We all influence on a daily basis be it at home or at work. Wherever you have personal objectives to meet you have opportunities to influence those around you. It can be said that any communication that has an intended outcome can be considered an attempt to influence. In business, task focus and the achievement of outcomes with and through others is a continuous activity. Influence is pervasive, whether we are conscious of it or not and regardless of the label applied to it. Excellent influencers fulfill their personal objectives while maintaining and nurturing important relationships. That sounds simple, but in practice it can be extremely challenging. Many people achieve their influence objectives only at the expense of important relationships. Others habitually avoid challenging influence  Read the full article…