For More Influence, Be Gracefully Assertive

For More Influence, Be Gracefully Assertive

Do you use tension productively? As a force to accomplish something? Too much tension can yield unproductive conflict. Too little tension often means avoiding important conversations and issues. But when you learn to be gracefully assertive, you use just the right amount of tension to increase productivity and power. You can build influence and become more powerful and persuasive when you learn to become gracefully assertive. 

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Use Your Authority to Gain Influence. INFLUENCE SERIES #6

Do you use your authority to increase influence?

Authority is a powerful tool of influence. In this influence video clip tip, Joe describes several of the many different types of authority that we normally use. Then he points out a kind of authority most of us never think to use.

Transcript

Another one of the powerful tools of influence is called “Authority.”

First I’m going to talk about the types of authority that we normally see, use and are familiar with and then I’m going to talk about a type of authority that no one ever thinks of.

What do we normally think of when we’re trying to speed up the rate by which we have influence with others? “Senior management wants this done.” “Senior management needs compliance.” *So, our ability to use “senior management” as a tool of authority is incredibly powerful. The government is another form. *“If we do not put this information in the form the government wants, we will get fined.” Very powerful. Policy and procedure within your own organization—eg, “we need to follow IT procedure” or “human resources policy”—also a form of authority. Finally, if your organization needs or requires some level of certification to do what they do, that becomes a tool (eg, if we want to keep or earn our certifications).

All of those that I’ve talked about already are very powerful. However, none of them build your influence. How can you use this tool?

How can you use this powerful tool to build influence?

I would bet that each and every one of you is a subject matter expert. You know your job better than anyone else. And there are times where you can use the authority that comes along with your job to demand compliance by others. As the project lead on this, I need you to... As the team lead on this, I need you to... As the person responsible for getting this response written, I need you to...

That gives you some level of authority because of the definition of this tool: there is pressure in our society for compliance with the requests of an authority. In those situations where you can be the authority and demand compliance, people will do what you’ve asked the to do. You don’t get to do this all the time. You don’t get to say, “I’m running my organization today!”

However, your ability to cite your job responsibilities and demand that other people comply is another way to use this tool that no one ever thinks of using.

Other topics in the Influence Series:

1. Learn How to Gain More Influence

2. What's the Difference Between Persuasion and Influence?

3. Use Contrast to Speed-Up the Rate of Influence

4. Reciprocity Is a Helpful Tool of Influence, Negotiation and Sales

5. Social Proof—Peer Pressure—Helps Speed Up Influence.

6. Use Your Authority to Gain Influence.

Related topics:

Courses:

Influence Without Authority Course

Advanced Influence Without Authority Course

Blog Post:

Want More Influence? You Need a Plan!

ZEHREN♦FRIEDMAN skills training can help you and your people influence better.

Read more here: http://zehrenfriedman.com/skills-training/influence

Reciprocity Is a Helpful Tool of Influence, Negotiation and Sales—INFLUENCE SERIES #4

Reciprocity Is a Helpful Tool of Influence, Negotiation and Sales—INFLUENCE SERIES #4

One powerful tool of influence is reciprocity. When you’re looking to speed up the rate by which you have influence with others, use reciprocity.  Reciprocity is used in influence, negotiating, when selling, and it’s a customer service tool. We are forever trading things of value with other people. You scratch my back, I scratch yours.

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An Introduction to Influence, pt 2 {video slides}

Here’s part 2 (of 2) of an introductory module on influence and persuasion skills. Improve your influence skills and understanding so that more of your recommendations are accepted.  If you missed part 1, watch it here.

Call us at 847/940-7269 to learn more about our Influence Without Authority seminars. 

ZEHREN♦FRIEDMAN has been helping clients sell, present, negotiate and influence more effectively on a global basis for over 20 years.

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An Introduction to Influence {video slides}

Here’s part 1 of 2 of an introduction to influence and persuasion skills. Improve your influence skills and understanding so that more of your recommendations are accepted.  Part 2 is available here.

Call us at 847/940-7269 or read more about our Influence Without Authority seminar here. 

ZEHREN♦FRIEDMAN has been helping clients sell, present, negotiate and influence more effectively on a global basis for over 20 years.

 

Influence Without Authority in Action:
Case Study—Financial Institution IT Department

Background

One participant’s role is to help ensure the availability of critical business systems while changes and enhancements are planned and implemented to these systems. After attending Influence and Persuasion he immediately put some of the new skills to work by changing the way he communicates.

QUALITATIVE RESULT

He has succeeded in converting internal colleagues who have been “change curmudgeons” into “Change Champions.”

QUANTITATIVE RESULTS

While they have not yet been formally calculated, he expects to see the following impact over the next year:

  • Reduced number of Change Request (CRQ) resets

  • Reduced number of negative change related incidents

  • Reduced number of process violations

What changed?

Our client enhanced his level of influence by changing the way he communicates with partners about complying with the change management process.

In addition to educating partners about how the process works, he now more clearly articulates the VALUE of the process on several levels: the value to the partner personally, professionally, and to the bank.

While this change management process is “mandatory,” he has no authority over the people with whom he deals and whom he hopes to influence. He crafted “what if” scenarios to help educate partners on the consequences and potential issues behind each risk assessment question. These are shared via training sessions, lunch and learns, and one-on-one encounters with partners when educating them on the process.

What was the take-away from the seminar?

From the Influence Without Authority class, our client applied the ZEHREN♦FRIEDMAN Persuasion Equation model, as well as utilizing the influence tools of Networking, Contrast, Commitment & Consistency, Social Proof and Authority. Personally, professionally, and to the bank.

Influence in the News: Republican Primary Edition

Influence is around us every day.  Influence is defined as the power to sway or affect based on prestige, wealth, ability or power.

In other words, we’re trying to get other people to do the things we want them to do, and we want it to be their idea!  Years of behavior research studies have lead people to realize that they can speed up the rate by which influence is created, mainly by triggering a response in those we want to influence.

With that in mind, following are several examples of influence tools at work, specifically in the very busy world of presidential politics.

“Do you want the true conservative, Newt Gingrich, or the Massachusetts Moderate?” Newt Gingrich after the debate preceding the Florida Primary (Contrast)

“If elected,” a) Michele Bachman promised that she would bring back $2 gasoline; b) Herman Cain promised not to sign any legislation or bills longer than three pages; c) All of the candidates have promised to repeal “Obamacare”; d) Mitt Romney promised to create 11.5 million jobs; e) Ron Paul promised to remove US troops from all overseas engagements (Reciprocity – vote for me and…)

Rick Santorum has consistently held socially conservative views and has advocated “compassionate conservatism” (Commitment and Consistency)

Donald Trump endorses Mitt Romney; Herman Cain endorses Newt Gingrich (Social Proof)

In the business I had, we invested in over 100 different businesses and net-net, taking out the ones where we lost jobs and those that we added, those businesses have now added over 100,000 jobs.”– Mitt Romney, Jan. 7, 2012 (Authority)

Ron Paul is America's leading voice for limited, constitutional government, low taxes, free markets, sound money, and a pro-American foreign policy (Scarcity)

Conclusion—Just shy of 130 million votes were cast in the 2008 presidential election. It takes a lot of influence to get that 65,000,001st vote!

 

Image: “Florida Republican Primary Candidates” Cartoon by DonkeyHotey. No endorsements are intended or implied.

Influence Is Everywhere: Saturday’s Chicago Tribune

We are surrounded by the six principles of influence every day.  In this past Saturday’s Chicago Tribune:

  • Poll: Optimism on the economy edges up…index rises 6 points since November (Contrast)

  • In return for a warm reception at Walter Payton High School in Chicago, President Hu Jintao of China invited 20 faculty and students to visit China this summer (Reciprocity)

  • A 300-pound man explains that in 2004 he attended a Bears game, painted himself from head to waist in blue and orange, and went shirtless.  The Bears won that game, so he has continued to be painted and shirtless, regardless of the weather outside (Commitment & Consistency)

  • Obama taps GE chief (Jeff Immelt) to lead an initiative on jobs, has a two-fold aim: 1) the administration is not anti-business and 2) the economy is no longer on life support (Authority—although the President is trying to use JeffImmelt’s authority)

  • “Winner Golden Globe,” “The best movie of 2010,” “America’s top critics are raving,” “An amazing 3D experience.” Headlines off four movie ads (Social Proof—you'll love them too!)

  • At Muller Honda, there are only 15 Civics, 25 Accords, 25 Pilots, 45 Odysseys and 15 CR-Vs (Scarcity—get them while you can)

Two lessons come from all of these examples:

  1. Influence doesn't happen by chance, but by plan

  2. The vast majority of the time, we are so busy doing our work that we miss the doors that open, giving us an opportunity to influence others

Influence Is Everywhere: 6 Principles in a Week

We are surrounded by the six principles of influence in use every day. Just in the past week:

  1. NBA players are being signed by new teams at bargain rates (Contrast—between the past and current economic climates gives owners more leverage)

  2. The US and Russia commit to cut nuclear arms stockpiles by 2/3 (Reciprocity)

  3. GM exits bankruptcy; CEO vows better performance (Commitment & Consistency)

  4. Iranians continue to protest, weeks after a disputed election (Social Proof)

  5. Bernard Madoff gets 150 year prison sentence (Authority—by the judge!)

  6. Sales of Michael Jackson's albums doubled last week (the perception of Scarcity)

There are two lessons in this for all of us:

  • These things (for the most part) happen by plan

  • A conscious choice has been made to walk through the door, or to take advantage of the opportunity that has been presented to influence