POWER – Influence Strategies

PREVIOUS: POWER – Persuasion

SITE: Taxonomy of Influence Strategies identifies 23 ‘plays’ – basic strategies used in influence industries : communications, marketing,  media, military & government intelligence, politics & sales  (MORE….with chart )

Def: “A social or rhetorical technique, irreducibly unique, used by a person, organization or surrogate, to improve mutual or competitive advantage, through means & methods of persuasion.”
EXP : A new Senior Manager adopts a new dress code, which others in the org. then start to copy

3 Leadership STRATEGIES which can transform POWER into INFLUENCE
(Angela Sinickas, 2016)
See also “Neutralizing” each of these strategies – when needed. Slides 18-20
AND See “Pros & Cons” slide 18-21

: a. to get others to work with you in reaching an objective
b. AND avoid feeling powerless, exploited or manipulated, in situations where you should be taking initiative rather than complying

1. Retribution though intimidation (pressure) or Coercion (threaten)
EXP a : Forcing all businesses to use new logo & brand themes
EXP b : Offer alternative strategies with fewer negative consequences bit still accomplish the original demand. Used WHEN:
‣ Commitment & quality not important
‣ Influencer had complete power
‣ Resistance to request if likely
‣ Specific, unambiguous requests
‣ There are serious violations
‣ Tight time constraints

2. Reciprocity through ingratiation (obligate) or Bargaining (exchange)
EXP a : Helping an executive in a crisis, the get them to recommend you earlier in the next emerging issue
EXP b: Ask questions, decline a ‘gift’, suggest an alternative exchange or refuse outright. Used WHEN :
‣ Commitment to values not critical
‣ Established exchange norms already exist
‣ Needs are specific & short term
‣ Parties mutually depend
‣ Parties viewed as trustworthy
‣ There’s enough time for negotiating

3. Reason through appeal to values (general principles) or Facts (merits & needs)
EXP a : Refer to expert opinions, use survey data. OR appeal to their ‘higher good’
EXP b :
Acknowledge their need, but explain that the request won’t work at this time. Be firm when saying ‘no’.  Appeal to their sense of fairness or point out it’s inconsistency with the org’s values, & to not wait to the last minute for help
Used WHEN:
‣ Parties have common values and goals
‣ Parties share an ongoing relationship
‣ Parties share mutual respect
‣ There’s adequate time for extensive discussion

STRATEGIES – define long-term goals & the plans to achieve the org’s mission. They must include “premeditation, anticipating others’ behavior, & the purposeful design of coordinated actions.” Usually more important when someone else (individual or group) has the potential to thwart or disrupt actions, or where plans are at risk if practical steps are not actively taken

TACTICS – (“initiatives”) are much more concrete, using smaller steps & a shorter time frame for the process toward a goal. Involve ‘best practices’, specific plans, resources… Successful tactics can include an ‘implementation trigger’ that signals when they should be used, such as an “if this, then that” plan for Where, When & Why.

ANOTHER way to list Influence Strategies (the ‘Six Ps’)

♝Persuasion – gaining influence by appealing to reason via argument. Requires a mix of Expertise & Personal characteristics. Once persuaded, people will want to continue doing as the leader ‘suggests’.

♝Position – how authority is used in a particular org. depends on its corporate culture, on which forms of authority the org approves of, & the manager’s preferred management style

Preparatory – laying the ground for future attempt at influence – such as building a positive relationship with colleagues to make them more willing to cooperate in the future.  Acceptable strategies depends on context or else will seem like manipulation

Preventative – ways to prevent certain actions, such as holding back information, stop questions being asked, suppress dissent. Both Prep & Prev. can be either overt or covert. EXP: The way an agenda is structured may not be obvious to participants

♝Pull (Reward) – depends on the value to the Target. Usually a co. will set guidelines to ensure limitations & fairness. Unfair benefits will create resentments & reduce motivation in others

♝Push (Coercion) – imposing or threatening to use sanctions for non-compliance, a bullying approach which may include legal sanctions

NEXT: Power – Manipulation

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