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.
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: