Exercising Influence is your guide to accomplishing more with less effort. Demystifying the process of influencing others, this book shows you how to develop effective influence behaviors, plan an influence approach, set goals, resolve problems, and build better relationships. Revised and expanded to provide more actionable advice across industries and sectors, this third edition has updated examples and resources and features all-new chapters on influencing through social media, influencing your team, and applying research findings of neuroscience, and behavioral economics.. You'll create work, family, and community relationships that are more mutually rewarding as you apply a practical, real-world model for developing this seldom-taught skill.
Influence is a skillset that everyone needs, yet the necessary techniques and fundamentals are rarely made explicit and shared. This book is a vital resource for anyone who wants to achieve better outcomes at work, at home, or in the world at large, helping you make important things happen and create relationships that matter.
Develop a strategic and tactical approach to influence that gets results.
Resolve problems and conflicts, and build more balanced relationships.
Do more with less, increase your impact on others, and take greater charge of your life.
Take advantage of new methodologies that build your skills as an influencer.
Influence is a timeless topic for business leaders and others in positions of power, but the world has evolved to the point where everyone needs these skills. No matter your job, role, rank, or function, if you want to get things done you need to know how to influence up, down, across, and outside the organization. With improved skills, you can steer opinions, impact decisions, and sway the undecided. If you're ready to see what you're capable of, Exercising Influence will show you how to take charge of your professional and personal life in a powerful, ethical, and productive way.
What Is Influence, and Why Do We Want to Have It?
The Upside and the Downside
All that Adam had, all that Caesar could, you have and can do... Build, therefore, your own world.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
Influence and Power
The word power is a noun that indicates ability, strength, and authority. Influence is most often used as a verb, meaning to sway or induce another to take action. (It can also be used as a noun, often interchangeably with power.) In this book, we'll consider power to be something you have and influence to be something you do . Electric power exists only as a potential source of light in your home or office until you flip a switch (or activate an app or a beam that does the switching). Likewise, your power exists only as potential until you activate it through the use of influence.
Many sources of power are available to you. Among them are
Formal authority associated with your role, job, or office
Referred or delegated power from a person or a group that you represent
Information, skill, or expertise
Reputation for achievements and ability to get things done
Relationships and mutual obligations
Moral authority, based on the respect and admiration of others for the way that you act on your principles
Personal power, based on self-confidence and commitment to an idea
Power may be used directly (for example, "You are going to bed now because I am your mother and I say so") or indirectly, through others (for example, "Let Jack know in a subtle way that I would prefer the other vendor"). If the demanding party's power is understood and considered legitimate and sufficient from the point of view of the responding party, the action will happen. In general, when power is called for, it's better to use it directly to avoid confusion, delay, or doubt. Power used indirectly can sometimes be experienced as manipulation, because most of us define manipulation as an attempt to influence in a false or obscure way.
Many situations call for the direct use of power. Emergencies and other situations in which rapid decision making is essential are times when fast and effective action is more important than involvement and commitment.
In day-to-day life, the direct use of power has several limitations
Others must perceive your power as legitimate, sufficient, and appropriate to the situation.
The use of power seldom changes minds or hearts; thus you can't count on follow-up that you are not there to supervise.
The direct use of power doesn't invite others to take a share of the responsibility for the outcome. Others don't have the opportunity to grow by having to make decisions and live with the consequences.
Influence behavior instead uses your sources of power to move another person toward making a conscious choice or commitment that supports a goal you wish to achieve. Different sources of power will be appropriate with different people and in different situations. They will support the use of a variety of influence skills. Using influence rather than direct power sends a message of respect to the other. It results in action by the other that is voluntary rather than coerced; thus quality and timelines are likely to be better. It's also the realistic choice to make in the many situations we encounter in which we need to get things done through people over whom we have no legitimate power.
Influence and Leadership
Leaders must be able to use both approaches-direct power and skillful influencing-and must know when each is appropriate. Few leaders are satisfied with blind obedience (obedience in adults is never "blind"-it's an emergency response, a fear response, or one that betrays a lack of interest in and responsibility for the outcome). Most