Leadership is the ability to influence others. You can make a choice to influence people cohesively or forcefully. The use of forceful influence is manifested in people who use positional leadership to get things done through others. They use their title, position or badge to get people to...
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Leadership is the ability to influence others. You can make a choice to influence people cohesively or forcefully. The use of forceful influence is manifested in people who use positional leadership to get things done through others. They use their title, position or badge to get people to comply or follow policy. Forceful influence actually does cause people to follow policy — in your presence and to your face. However, in your absence, people will undermine your authority and resist following policy.
There are 10 ways to influence people, and you should never have to resort to two of them. Combinations of these approaches can sometimes be effective as well. Consider how you go about influencing people and see which approach might be the most effective for the situations you face.
The concept here is using a step-by-step factual reasoning process to convince someone. This is an effective approach for very analytical people who need to see the logic of why they should or should not move toward your point of view. Logic is usually the foundation of an influential approach. If something makes sense to people, they are more apt to continue listening to your idea or your argument.
This approach can backfire if you do not actually have the facts or evidence to back up your argument. If you are attempting to use logic and someone asks you for "proof" that you cannot produce, you have lost your ability to influence the person in that particular situation.
This approach entails getting someone to envision what could happen instead of using factual reasoning. This approach appeals more to the emotions of an individual. An example of using vision to influence people is saying something like, "Imagine what our department would look like if we implemented a strong leadership mentoring program. We would have a department full of principle-based leaders who use our core values as the basis of the actions they take. This is my vision for this program, and your involvement is imperative to its success."
This approach can backfire if you're not clear in your vision or passionate in your presentation of a vision. People find it very difficult to follow leaders who are vague in their vision and expectations.
The concept here is that you are showing someone that something is possible by your own role model example or the example of someone else. Inspiration can include your current and past successes that encourage others to reach higher. Your work ethic and passion for the job can also serve as a form of inspiration for others and influence their behavior. People get inspired by people who overcome great obstacles to succeed. When you show tenacity, character and integrity, people are inspired by your example.
This approach can backfire if your actions contradict your words — that does not inspire people. People respond more to what they see from you than what they hear. People do not care what you hang on a wall and call a mission statement. They want to see that mission statement lived out every day. People do not care what you call your core values and put in a pretty frame and hang on a wall. They want to see those core values come to life in every decision you make and every action you take. That is what inspires people.
This concept involves asking other people questions so they can participate in the process. People find it very difficult to buy into missions, visions and goals that they didn't help create. It is much easier to influence people when they are involved in the brainstorming, planning and execution of important projects or changes. By letting people participate, you will gain much more support in the process.
This technique can backfire if you have no intentions of taking their input or using any of their ideas. People become very frustrated when leaders project an air of "openness to input," but then do nothing with the input that is provided.