Leadership and the Power of INFLUENCE

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...


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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5. UPLIFT

This approach addresses the concept of praising people if you want to influence their behavior. Providing positive feedback often results in increased positive behavior. Some leaders do not need a lot of positive feedback or uplift, so they make the wrong assumption that everyone is that way. Some people truly appreciate being acknowledged for what they have contributed before you ask them to contribute more.

This approach can backfire if it is laid on too thick. People will feel like you are trying to "butter them up" if you pay them compliments only when you want something. Being consistent in your praise of others is the key to positive influence.

6. DEAL

The idea with this approach is to strike a deal with someone to get a specific desired action: "If you do this, I will do that." This can be an effective approach when you are dealing with someone that you may not have a strong relationship with. It is also effective for people who tend to have the constant mentality of, "What's in it for me?" Unfortunately, this mentality is prevalent in the younger generation.

This approach can backfire if you do not follow through on your end of the deal. People will lose trust in you, and your ability to influence in the future will be compromised. Do what you say you will do, when you said you would do it and how you said it would be done.

7. FAVOR

With this approach, you are simply asking someone to do a favor as a way to influence their actions. If asked humbly, people generally want to help. If you continue to tap the same people over and over for favors, it will compromise your ability to use this influence approach in the future. Unfortunately, 20% of the people on teams do 80% of the work. That becomes increasingly frustrating for the 20%! Spread the favors around so the workload doesn't fall on the same people every time.

This approach can backfire if people expect a favor in return and you do not provide one. The next time you ask for a favor, you will probably not get it.

8. COLLECTIVE

This approach involves the process of letting someone know who else is doing what you are asking them to do. It's a form of positive peer pressure. An example would be saying something like, "Here are three other departments that have implemented the same program I am proposing. I am going to provide you with names and phone numbers of people you can talk to so you can find out what their experience was with the program."

This approach can backfire if you are dealing with people who want to do things their own way and refuse to listen to what other people or organizations might be doing. These types of people will often reject what other departments are doing just because they didn't think of it themselves. Situations like this may require several approaches to influence the behavior.

9. POLICY

The concept here is using policy to influence behavior. An example would be using department policy to correct the behavior of a firefighter who has been late on a few occasions. Using policy would be sitting the firefighter down and saying, "Our department policy is that we are here, ready to go, turnouts on the rig by 0800. You need to be here on time."

This approach can backfire if you attempt to shove policy down people's throats. People will comply in your presence and undermine you and the policy in your absence. Policy should be used in conjunction with mentoring and coaching. Instead of just using policy to change or influence behavior, you would want to let the firefighter know how lateness affects other crew members and find out what some of the underlying issues may be that are contributing to the tardiness issue.

10. FORCE

This approach involves the use of positional power to influence behavior. You force people to do what you ask by shoving a badge in their face: "I am your captain and you will listen to me." Force should be saved for extreme situations.