6 sure-fire ways to become more influential
Power is the potential to influence others and is based on certain qualities or capabilities. This week, I discuss with you sources of power you can use to increase your influencing tactics. Do take note that the type of power used varies from situation to situation!
Legitimacy is based on your position in the organisation. Through formal authority, you have the power to decide what needs to be done and how to achieve it. However, you must use this power with care. It’s important to take note to consult others’ input. In doing so, you encourage employee participation and empower them to be more efficient in achieving these goals and your ligitimate power becomes more natural.
Rational persuasion is logical and uses factual evidence to influence others. Here, you need to explain the objective and rationale for your decision. Then you need to explain the benefits of meeting the objective and provide evidence that the objective can be met. It is useful to also explain potential problems and handle concerns. If there are competing plans, you must also explain why your plan is also superior.
Rewards are based on the user’s ability to influence others with something of value. It affects performance expectations and achievement. Observing people doing the right things and rewarding them by for instance giving them motivational feedback is a great motivator. Make the criteria you use to distribute rewards known and reward team members equally.
Coercion is appropriate to maintain discipline and enforce rules. It should only be used as a last resort. Here, you need to give prior warnings and ensure that your employees know the rules and penalties. It is also very important to be fair and not to use coercion to manipulate others as this creates unhappiness which creates undesirable results.
Referent power is based on the user’s personal relationship to inspire others it’s all about your likeability. This power is especially useful for people with weak or little position power. To be inspirational, you need to understand the values, hopes, fears and goals of the persons you want to influence. Build a relationship by listening carefully and ask questions, by really being there for them. Use nonverbal communication to display your emotion and passion!
Expert power is based on your skill and knowledge. People often respect an expert, as such they become dependent on you for your technical skills and advice. Here, you need to make sure that your skills remain relevant by taking up training and educational programs your organisation provides. Also, you need to project a positive self-concept and let others know about your expertise by developing a good reputation.
In this article, I have shared with you the various types of power you can use to become more influential. Remember that the appropriateness of these tactics may change with circumstances, requiring you to adapt your negotiation tactics. Which tactic do you tend to use most often to help you get what you want? Which tactic are you weak at? Share with me some tips you frequently use!
If you feel that you need more practice, do check out our Influencing course here: https://digneconsult.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/INFLUENCING.pdf
Or you can drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more!