By taking this course you will learn how to achieve your goals and aspirations through influencing others. You will increase your effectiveness as a leader, a team member or a project worker.
Learn to effectively influence others and increase your effectiveness
· Learn four very different ways of influencing others
· Build up your persuasive skills with a range of approaches
· Learn how to influence with impact in different situations
· Recognise how others are trying to influence you
Become more effective at influencing others
We’ll learn how the ability to influence others is key to success in today’s world. With examples from the business and domestic world, we’ll see how different styles of influence are appropriate to different situations. We’ll learn how to spot the different styles in action and who is most likely to use them. We’ll identify the key success factors for each style, and the counter-indications.
This course is made up of short, focused video clips each clearly targeted on one aspect of the programme. For each of the four styles studied we'll look at the definition of the style, the type of person likely to use it, when it is likely to work and when it isn’t. Each section is supported by a downloadable briefing sheet, an aide memoire for future use.
The course is illuminated with examples and case-studies supported by powerful and dramatic video scenes that highlights the points being made. A comprehensive quiz allows you to test your learning and, with reference back to key video clips, makes sure your learning is secured.
We all need to be able to influence others to make our dreams come true, to realise our hopes and aspirations and to achieve our goals and targets. I designed this course for people who want to increase their ability to make a difference by working with others in effective, and persuasive, ways.
I facilitate change and have done all my adult life, first as a social worker, then as a manager and for 20 years as a consultant. I facilitate change in people, teams and organizations. I do this through direct interventions, such as coaching, team or organisational development activity, and through education or knowledge sharing, such as through books, lectures and workshops. Helping people change their work lives or organisations for the better is what I do.
This style of influencing is based on a belief in the power of logical argument. The underlying sentiment is ‘Once I lay out the facts the logic of the course of action I am recommending will seem indisputable. Once you understand things as I do, you will agree with me.’
Assertive Persuasion tends to work when the issue under discussion is:
Assertive Persuasion It tends not be so effective when there is:
The relationship between consequences and behaviour is well established through a branch of psychology technically known as ‘operant conditioning’. If you want to learn how to use this style effectively, I recommend a small paperback called ‘Don’t shoot the dog’ by Karen Pryor.
It is a style that, once you recognize it, you will notice being used everywhere from infant school ‘if you can recite your three times table I’ll give you a gold star’ to adolescence ‘study hard so that you can go to college and earn good money’ to adulthood ‘if you smoke you are more likely to develop lung cancer’ or ‘if you follow this diet you will lose weight’. In all these cases pointing out the consequences of some behaviour will, it is assumed, influence action in a particular direction.
Reward and Punishment tends to work when you can ensure:
Reward and Punishment is less effective when
In short Participation and Trust is the ‘you can be in my gang’ or ‘trust me on this’ style of influencing.
People who default to this style tend to have a consensual, collegiate or consultative approach to working with others and making decisions. They value relationships and tend to want to build close-knit groups or teams. They also value the efforts of others and work to create mutually supportive, high-trust environments. They may well view leadership from a ‘first amongst equals’ rather than ‘lone ranger’ or ‘distant commander’ perspective. They are likely to want you to want to do what they want you to do. Compliance is not enough; they value true commitment as in ‘we’re in this together’.
Participation and Trust works when people:
Participation and Trust is less likely to work when there is:
Appreciative Inquiry is a change methodology that offers a complete process for understanding people’s values and aspirations, co-creating attractive visions of the future and working out how to achieve them. It can be used to help create attractive common visions or futures for individuals, teams or organizations. For more see ‘Appreciative Inquiry for Change Management’ by Lewis, Passmore and Cantore.
People who use this style well are often perceived as visionary leaders or described as inspirational. They are good at creating ‘word pictures’, making a future state come alive through their descriptions of the possible. They appeal to people’s hopes and aspirations, think of Martin Luther King’s famous ‘I have a Dream’ speech. They use inclusive language such as ‘us’ and ‘we’ and ‘our’. Sometimes described as charismatic, they use their enthusiasm and excitement to ignite the passions, motivation and actions of others. They are focused on creating futures, and influence others by drawing them towards this future.
Common Vision tends to work well when people:
Common Vision doesn’t work so well when
Once you understand these four different styles you can consciously adapt your style to the situation.
When my car broke down, again, as we began our return journey at the height of the holiday season, I needed a 300 mile tow. There was a long queue for the breakdown recovery service and I had small children with me. I had already decided I was junking the car. To get to the front of the queue I offered a reward incentive. 'Jump us to the front of the queue take us home straight away, and you can keep the car, bring it back with you.' Shortly afterwards we set off, rode home in style and got rid of a problem car. Everyone was happy and we never saw each other again.
On the other hand, when I had to keep a residential building for women and children functioning as it closed down rather suddenly, with no assurance that there would be any money to pay staff for the final few days, I called on Common Vision to influence others by creating hope and aspiration of how we could make this difficult situation into a success, resettling every family successfully before we closed. This objective appealed to everyone, as it resonated with our values. Staff stayed and we did re-home every family. (And in the event we did get paid!)
I hope that by now you understand the four different styles, how to use them, and when they might be useful. Practice them in different situations and remember, if one gains no traction you can always try another. Like any tool they can be used to good or nefarious purposes. I encourage you to use your new found powers wisely!
Take the quiz to test what you have learned and check your understanding.
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Initially a social worker, Sarah built her expertise in helping people change their ways of thinking and behaviour by working in child protection. Since then she has worked for over 20 years with organizations from production and service sectors as well as with higher education, not-for-profit and local and central government. A chartered psychologist, Sarah is an experienced facilitator with special expertise in creating individually designed large or whole system interventions based on Appreciative Inquiry, Open Space and other key collaborative transformation methodologies. She works in the areas of socio-technical system implementation, team development, whole system change and organisational development. She helps organizations to address their issues, meet their challenges and achieve their desires in areas of organisational life such as performance, change, strategy, relationships, morale, engagement and motivation, working together, process improvement, leadership, co-ordination, and effectiveness. She is often asked to help when things are ‘stuck’ or dysfunctional at a team, organisational or individual level, yet is equally able to help make good better.
She is the author ‘Positive Psychology at Work’ and ‘Positive Psychology and Change’ and lead author of ‘Appreciative Inquiry for Change Management’. She is a recognised expert in these areas and speaks regularly at National and International Conferences.