The Power of Positive Influence
- Positive Influence is a process that involves appropriate balance between pull, push and move away.
- Your ability to be flexible in your influencing choices gives you access to a higher level of effectiveness.
- The key is to be aware of the impact your behavior is having on your workers.
- If you pull more effectively, your workers will pay more attention to your push.
Definition: Asserting and Persuading
The influencer asserts his/her position or seeks to persuade key stakeholders. You are using push whenever you are advancing your own agenda. You can tell others what you want, persuade them, convince with evidence and logic. In all cases, when you are focused on getting your agenda accomplished, you are in push mode.
Push skills are appropriate when…
- You have a helpful idea or suggestion to add.
- You have requirements or standards that need to be met.
- You need to hold someone accountable to an agreement or a responsibility.
Push Skills from the Inventory
1. I speak freely about my ideas and opinions as they occur to me.
3. I comment on inconsistencies or flaws in the reasoning or ideas presented to me.
7. I offer more reasons why they should support my stance when they do not agree with my ideas.
12. I tell them my honest reactions when they do things I do not like.
13. I repeat my position or my ideas when I do not get a response from them in a conversation.
18. I add my own ideas and opinions to the ideas and suggestions presented by them.
Definition: Bridging and Attracting
The influencer uses empathy (empathic listening) or other involving, cooperative, value-based behaviors to attract and build bridges to key stakeholders. When you are authentically searching for common ground and you actively listen, support areas of agreement and move forward using that common ground as a basis, you are using pull energy. You have to be willing to be influenced by others if you are going to listen and really move with the common ground.
Pull skills are appropriate when…
- You want to develop a partnership.
- Your goal is to resolve differences.
- You are dealing with emotional reactions.
Pull behaviors from the Inventory
4. I ask them to elaborate on what they are saying so that I can fully understand their point(s) of view.
6. I talk about the areas where we are in agreement rather than focus on areas
where we disagree.
9. I focus harder on listening when they do not agree with what I am saying.
10. I summarize what has been said in order to emphasize areas of agreement,
and to determine what has yet to be decided.
14. I hold back on stating my ideas and ask about their ideas so that if our thinking is similar, they can think the solution is their idea.
17. I work on building a personal relationship with them, including subjects other than our immediate work together.
Definition: Disengage and Re-evaluate or Avoidance
The influencer disengages when perceiving a deadlock or other insurmountable impasse and re-evaluates his/her influence strategy. Note: disengaging is not avoiding, as the influencer is still actively seeking to influence key stakeholders. There are two different ways we use move away… as a temporary disengagement (to think, refocus, buy time) with the intent of getting back together… examples are a cooling off period in labor/management negotiations, or walking away from a sales person when they do not negotiate in the hopes they will reconsider and invite you back to the table with a better deal. Another type of move away is to diplomatically avoid something, which is a distraction to your priorities. If you take on every battle, you will spread yourself so thin that you cannot accomplish anything well. It that case, knowing how to “back burner” something will help you get focus and increase your effectiveness.
Move Away Skills are appropriate when:
- You need to be selective about what issues you choose to influence.
- Engaging with someone who is difficult and not essential in order to achieve your objective.
- You or those with whom you are communicating need time to think or refocus effort.
Move Away Behaviors from the Inventory
2. I wait and think about what has been said in our conversation so that I can
carefully formulate an effective response to be used later.
5. I find a way to withdraw from the conversation when there is evidence of
8. I find a way to end the conversation when I feel defensive.
11. I use humor to change the subject when we seem tense or anxious.
15. I avoid reacting to sarcastic comments or implied attacks and pretend they never happened.
16. I keep my opinions to myself when I disagree.
Principles of Positive Influence
- You will not be able to effectively influence or advocate a position unless you have identified a person you want to influence, believe you can influence, and are clear about what you want as an outcome.
- Any choice (PUSH, PULL, or MOVE AWAY) becomes ineffective if it is not used in combination with other choices.
- Effective influence/advocacy does not happen as a result of a single interaction; it requires many interactions over time.
- PUSH, PULL and MOVE AWAY effects can be achieved which are either constructive or destructive, depending on how those choices are exercised.
- When you PUSH, less is more. Influence is increased if you are concise and clear about what you want.
- When you PULL, it must be done authentically or it will not have a PULL effect. You cannot fake PULL.
- If you are going to disengage (MOVE AWAY) in order to buy time, collect your thoughts or think about what has been said. Let others know about the choice you are making.
For the entire lesson and activities, download the full version facilitator here.
by Galen Thompson