Influence tactics are one of the most potent tools in the modern leader’s arsenal. The essence of having a leader is for individuals to look to someone to help them do what they might not ordinarily be able to achieve independently. Within cross-functional teams, with individual team members representing different departments, positions, and even cultures, a leader’s success often depends on his or her ability to earn the cooperation and support of others around him.
The modern-day workplace often requires leaders to gain consensus across organizational boundaries, acquiring support from those who don’t have any formal reporting relationship. In this kind of environment, it will be difficult for the leader to try and force people to get what they want. They must work skilfully with their peers; they need to collaborate with team members to achieve the organization’s vision and make things happen. This is why a modern leader’s efficacy primarily depends on how successfully he can impact others.
Influential influencers understand what’s important to others from an organizational perspective and on an intimate level, considering their values and beliefs. There are some approaches for achieving this, but some influence tactics appear to be more favorably regarded than others. These techniques are deemed the most effective in gaining engagement without destroying relationships. The world needs leaders with the rare ability and unique talent of making people do what is necessary to achieve collective set goals. This write-up aims to teach all leaders to become better at getting results effortlessly. Put yourself in the best position to lead by conscientiously reading until the end.
HOW MEN AND WOMEN APPLY INFLUENCE TACTICS AT WORKPLACES
Research results have shown that influence tactics vary across cultures. Still, it will be of interest to know if gender differences might impact power and influence tactics in the workplace. Data on 223 leaders across different types of organizations (116 men and 107 women) shows some significant differences and some surprising similarities.
The following are key trends on the use of influence tactics by both males and females:
-Both men and women use the appraisal method, i.e., an influence tactic where the people around the leader are made to see how participating in completing a project will benefit them tremendously. It is often common between female workers and their bosses.
– Men may benefit from using consulting more frequently with their direct subordinates, especially once they have authority to form a change but need others to assist them in implementing it. However, women could also be using this influencing style too often with their bosses.
– When persuading their peers and subordinates, women use recognition (using praise or flattery) substantially more than men.
– Women use legitimizing (establishing the legitimacy of an invitation and verifying they need the authority to form it) more often than men when influencing colleagues. This might indicate they’re more likely to feel their power is being challenged.
BEST INFLUENCE TACTICS APPLIED BY MOST LEADERS
possible and necessary to use logic and factual proof to point out an invitation. This is also the most frequently employed technique among leaders and appears to work for well almost all the time.
For example: “We’ve got to have the new software program completed by Friday, to have a full month to check it, run a top-quality audit, and make adjustments before we roll it to our customers.” It is best used when you have established credibility within the group, and others trust your judgment.
This comprises asking another person to make changes or help organize a suggested activity for which they need the individual’s support. Consultation sits in second place on the list of crucial influence tactics. Studies have shown that successful leaders cannot work without it.
Example: “Based on your experience with similar projects, could you give us your assessment of where we stand on this and how we can move this process along to reach our target deadline?”
When to use: when others have information and experience you lack, you are ready to work on all the suggestions.
Collaboration is where one provides necessary support or helps make the task easier for the other party in some way.
Example: “How about we bring extra support to help you complete this project because it seems you will do well with a little external assistance?”
When to use: Your request is perceived to be too difficult given the other person’s priorities and available resources.
This encourages others to accomplish a shared goal by appealing to their values, belief, and emotions. This tactic is less commonly practiced and more frequently employed by women. Research also indicates that the greater the status of a leader, the more likely they will use inspiring appeals. Productive business executives prefer to use this approach more.
Example: “When the Colts were down by 28 against the Chiefs last year, they managed to accomplish five touchdowns and make the most significant comeback in NFL history. Our rival may be a massive player in the market already as well, but the sooner we release this new software, the sooner we start making our comeback too. Who’s the game? “
When to use: You understand what principles and beliefs are essential to the team, and you are seen as a reliable consultant.
TIPS FOR MAXIMIZING INFLUENCE TACTICS
Use the following tips to maximize your leadership influence.
Don’t consider gender.
The gender of the influencer and the individual being influenced does not affect whether attempts to control are successful. The influencer must understand the individual he or she is attempting to influence for success to be achieved. What are his or her needs? What is he or she looking for? What does he or she see as benefits? What are his or her values?
Don’t rely on reasoning.
Though it’s the most popular tactic, reasoning doesn’t work in every situation. Reason fits well for other shaping techniques when used. Make sure to talk about the advantages of what you’re pitching if you’re going to use logic, not just the truth.
Build a solid foundation.
The confidence you inspire has a lot to do with how effective you are. Many influencers, however, neglect to build trust. Having this relationship in place enables you to establish trust with the client, not to rely on a single strategy of control. Like other abilities and features of successful leaders, the rare capability of making people do your bidding can be acquired through training and constant practice. To help your leaders strengthen their skills in this area, start by making them more aware of the styles they use most often.
LEADERS MUST SPEAK WITH INFLUENCE, POWER, AND AUTHORITY
Influence is most commonly associated with power and authority. Nonetheless, as we use it every day, let’s think of ways to uncover the secret forces of language that affect people’s moods, thoughts, and actions around us.
In trying to use the most compelling world leaders’ influence tactics and influence strategies, we can try to appear more ‘assertive’ in negotiations and tap into the ‘coalition tactic’ of group discussions to win majority support. Now, what proportion of this data have you ever utilized in your life as a student, employee, or participant in any quiet discussion, competition, challenge, etc.?
In bringing the subject of “influence” closer to English as a Second Language (ESL), I have decided to delineate what comes out of powerless and powerful language. I shall link this interest to “politeness theory.”
To illustrate the language of powerlessness, which indirectly feeds “influence,” consider our use of “hedging” tactics. Recall such phrases as “I wonder if you could “… and “Could I maybe ask you…” in our daily conversation and interactions. These phrases can sound humble if you are on the receiving end and less threatening to your ego and disposition. They bring with them the feeling of politeness and reverence, in other words. Another example is our tendency to use words or phrases that ‘minimize imposition’ like “I need just a touch of your time” to make requests or posing for some consideration. ‘Hedges’ and ‘minimization of imposition’ are both ways to make inherently hostile acts more harmless.
They’ll seem ‘powerless’; however, the gain is worth it. In a nutshell, powerless language manifests politeness techniques to create a form of ‘influence,’ reflecting time-honored rituals of approach, social distance, and reverence. You may sound modest and down-to-earth, but you earn yourself to greater attention. Hence, you will have more opportunities to influence your audience accordingly.
The secret of any successful workplace lies in authority figures’ effectiveness in getting subordinates to respond to the organization’s goals and targets. Influence tactics will save budding leaders massive stress or tend to force, rather than persuade. It’s a way of skillfully getting your way with people without resulting in conflict or confrontation.
So long as the organization is getting results, the tactics used are mostly inconsequential. The world is tired of achieving its goals and targets using force and altercations; the new normal involves getting into people’s minds and control how they feel and think, thereby making them achieve the unimaginable. This lies at the heart of influence tactics. If your wish is to follow the trend and remain relevant in today’s world, it’s high time you started learning and putting to use this rare skill.
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