Bohan and Bradstreet


7/28/2015 by julie

Most job descriptions in today’s market list “influencing without authority” as a requirement to be successful in a role.  The ability to positively influence people in such a way that others follow and act willingly is a key skill regardless of title within an organization. Both an art and a key business asset, influence is essential in all aspects of life, and constantly at play in the workplace. 

Outlined below are several approaches to influence without authority – both a “pull” approach and a “push” approach to influencing.

Pull Approach

·        Future-Oriented – looking ahead to solve problems or resolve issues.  People might say, “How can we do this?” or “How would that turn out?”

·        Intuition – this is normally a reaction to non-verbal communication from the receiver.  “You do not look happy with that…” or “You look uncomfortable…” are examples.

·        Drawing Out – asking a question and “rewarding” the receiver with a response.  For example, “That is interesting.  Can you help me understand?”

·        Support – An empathetic response to someone’s situation: “I heard that you are losing more people.  I understand exactly how rough that is….”

Push Approach

·        Self-Disclosure – essentially me-oriented and will contain expressions such as, “My experience shows that…”

·        Evaluation – also me-focused.  For example, people using it will say, “That is good!” or “That is bad!”

·        Logic – meaning my logic.  People using it will say things such as, “Surely you can see the logic,” or “It is obvious what is happening here…”

·        Past Oriented – this is a backward-facing method that is not effective when influencing behaviors yet to take place.  For example, a person may say, “and another thing, last month…”

There are other variables to consider when “influencing without authority” like resistance to change, different social styles or how someone receives information, emotions, or sequencing of your talking points as examples.  You need to observe the situation and your audience, and leverage multiple techniques to achieve your goal.  Be mindful and carefully think through your action plan.

Together, we can influence your career by establishing a road map and action plan.  Lets start today!!