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The Four Influencing Tactics That Make Leaders Most Effective

Everybody has an agenda in business. How do you get people to fully commit to your agenda when allegiances are spread so thin? Richard Lepsinger answers this question with four tactics in a post for PM Hut, drawing on data collected from over 220 leaders across different industries.

4 Fair-Weather Friending Techniques

  1. Reasoning
  2. Consulting
  3. Collaborating
  4. Inspiring

Lepsinger begins by saying:

Effective influencers understand what is important to others from an organizational perspective and at a personal level, taking into account their values and beliefs. There are many ways to do this, but some influencing tactics tend to be perceived more positively than others. These positive tactics tend to be the most effective at gaining commitment without damaging relationships.

Sometimes the most influential people are simply the most honest and straightforward. If you know what you need and have the rationale to back it up, then the only thing left to do is make the request and hope that your established credibility, the feasibility of the request, and the presence of strong evidence will make the case for you.

Failing sound reasoning, one can frame the request as a form of consulting. There’s no harm in boosting the ego of a colleague by asking for advice or an estimate. This works especially well if you lack information about a subject and when you’re in a position to take suggestions. But what if the object of your request is not interested in casual advice, or compelled by a sound argument? In cases like these, the best approach is to first offer help, since this individual is in a position to respond to assistance, and will perceive your request in a better light only after their own priorities have been met first.

The last effective influencing tactic requires a bit more creativity than the previous three. It also requires a bit of trust, since it’s the least substantial approach. In the right scenario, tapping into the beliefs and values of a colleague will inspire them to share and accomplish your stated goal. People will be more likely to help you if they feel you are of a like-mind.

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About Eric Anderson

Eric Anderson is a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success. He is an intern at Computer Aid Inc., pursuing his master's degree in communications at Penn State University.

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