Today’s workplace is characterised by unprecedented levels of change and complexity. People must be able to manage complicated and diverse teams, and span boundaries where differences present unique challenges. As a result, the ability to impact the ideas, opinions and actions of others, the ability to influence, is essential.
Consider your job role. How often do you have to influence people around you to accomplish your objectives, whether they be a small task or a big project? Success in these objectives relies on how effectively you influence people. Today’s organisations are more matrixed and team-based than ever before. This means instead of the person with the power having influence, the person with influence has the power.
When influence is used effectively, it increases trust, support and ownership of your priorities. However, using it ineffectively can promote doubt, resentment and intimidation. Understanding your own influencing tactics – your own influencing style, is a crucial part of influencing effectively. Researchers have identified five distinct influencing styles: rationalising, asserting, negotiating, inspiring and bridging.
· Rationalising: You put forward your ideas and offer logical, rational reasons to convince others of your point of view.
· Asserting: You insist that your ideas are heard and considered, and you challenge the ideas of others.
· Negotiating: You look for compromises and make concessions to reach outcomes that satisfy your greater interest.
· Inspiring: You advocate your position and encourage others with a sense of shared mission and exciting possibilities.
· Bridging: You build relationships and connect with others through listening, understanding and building coalitions.
You may have an idea what your dominant style is just from reading these descriptions, but the most accurate way to identify your style is with the Influence Style Indicator – a self-assessment which identifies your dominant, preferred, secondary and underutilised styles. The assessment also provides a personalised feedback report based on these preferences and addresses strengths and challenges.
Gaining awareness about your own influencing style and understanding how to develop your underutilised styles is important. When we are unaware of influencing styles, we tend to intensify our preferred style even when it is not working. This means you are undermining your own influence and not reaching your full influence potential.
Understanding, developing and using your underutilised influence styles creates new opportunities. It can give you access to vital information, involve you in important decisions and increase the frequency at which senior managers show up at your desk.
So, do you have influence?
If you would like more information on influence or are interested in taking the ISI, please contact our consultant, Ellie Roberts (email@example.com).