What do these situations have in common? A sales promotion campaign offers a freebie on every purchase over Rs.1000 at a supermarket An employee offers a large part of a project in front of the supervisor An office manager attempts to ward off opposition to a new policy for reimbursements, by carefully explaining how it will reduce TATs for reimbursements and make everyone’s job easier.The common denominator in all these 3 situations is… INFLUENCE
What is Influence?Influence is any attempt by aperson to change the behaviour ofsuperiors, peers, or subordinates.
Why learn Influencing Skills Influence is not inherently good or bad Influence can be used for purely selfish reasons Influence can be used to enhance organizational effectiveness Influence can help get a job done is an effective mannerManagerial success is firmly linked to the ability to exercise the right sort of influence at the right time
Types of Influence Inducing Change in Attitude – Persuasion Inducing Change in Behaviour – Compliance Inducing Change in Belief – Propaganda
Ingratiation What Ingratiation primarily involves is the effort by an individual to enhance their attractiveness to a target so that this person will then be more susceptible to their requests. Target directed Tactics Flattery Expressing Agreement with the Target person’s views Showing Interest in the target Impression Management
Ingratiation Do such tactics work? A growing body of evidence suggests that if used with skill and care they do However, the use of too many ingratiationary tactics seems to back fire and worsen rather than enhance reactions to the applicants
Door in the Face (DITF)A stranger approaches you at the shopping mall one day and politely asks if she can have a minute of your time. You stop and say, "Yes." The stranger goes on to describe the importance of the local blood bank to the safety and well- being of your community. (You nod your head in polite agreement, but you know theres a gimmick.) Then the stranger gets to the point:"Would you be willing to be a blood bank volunteer? Youd have to give ten hours a week for the next year and solicit blood donations from the people of our community by contacting them over the phone or face-to-face. Will you give us your time?"You think to yourself, "Ten hours a week? For a year?! Thats crazy. Volunteering is important, yes, but no one should have to give up that kind of time!"And so you politely tell the stranger, "No."The stranger looks a little disappointed and says:"Well, if you cant give your time, could you at least give a unit of blood right now? We have a station set up right down this hall."Now this is a more reasonable request. And even though youve never given blood before you find yourself walking down that hallway with this stranger . . .
Door in the Face Something happened here. A stranger stops a person. The stranger makes an extreme request. The person says, "No thanks." The stranger makes a second less extreme request. The person says, "Ill do it." Amazing as it may sound, this persuasive strategy is a reliable means of influencing people. It is also effective at getting behavior change which can be the toughest kind of change to get. It does not work in every situation and it is very important to know its limitations, but the sequential requests strategy is simple to implement and effective in outcome.This example illustrated the door-in-the-face tactic. Here, the firstrequest was aimed solely at getting the receiver to say no very quickly. Thesecond, less extreme request then followed and is more likely to beaccepted.
Foot in the Door (FITD)The other tactic, foot-in-the-door, pushes the first request in the opposite direction. Instead of starting off with an extreme request, FITD starts with a little request that almost no one would refuse. After getting a "Yes!" response to this little request, the receiver is hit with the second, larger request.Take the blood donation example. Our real target is to get people to give a unit of blood right now. To do the FITD, the first request has to be small and acceptable. Then, after we get affirmative action at step one, we hit them with step two, give blood. Think of a smaller request we could make of a person that would elicit a "Yes" response before we ask for the blood donation.
Foot in the Door (FITD)One could . . . . . . ask the person if she would sign this petition here that offers public support for the local blood bank. That would work. It is a small request. Takes no time to sign a petition. It is for a worthy cause; everybody supports it. Almost everyone would sign that petition, wouldnt they? Then as soon as the ink dries on the signature, the requester follows up with, "Well since you obviously support the blood bank and are willing to say so on this public petition, maybe youd like to show a little more support and give a unit of blood right now. We have a station set up . . ."
Sequential Requests First Step Second Step DITF get No! (large request) get Yes! (real request) FITD get Yes! (small request) get Yes! (real request)
Rational PersuasionUsing logical arguments and factual evidence to persuade a person that your proposal or request is viable and likely to result in the attainment of task objectives. Explain the reasons for your request Provide evidence to show that your proposal or plan is likely to succeed Explain how the person would benefit
Explain the reasons for your requestThe most basic form of Reasoning is to explain why you are asking someone to do something. People are more likely to comply when they understand that there is a good reason for your request Provide evidence to show that your proposal or plan is likely to succeedWhen there is reason to doubt that a proposal will succeed, provide supporting evidence for it. Explain how the person would benefitRather than merely listing a sequence of facts to support your idea, be sure to emphasize the benefits of your idea to the person involved.
ConsultationSeeking a person’s participation in planning a strategy, or change for which his/her support and assistance are desired or being willing to modify a proposal to deal with his/her higher concerns Ask the person to help plan a task or activity that will require his/her support and assistance. Tell the person your proposal is tentative and ask for suggestions Encourage the person to express any concerns or doubts about your plan Modify the proposal to deal with concerns and incorporate suggestions
Ask the person to help plan a task or activity that will require his/her support and assistance.Consulting is particularly critical when your proposal will require people’s support in implementation. People are much more likely to be committed to implementing change when they have input into what should change and how. Tell the person your proposal is tentative and ask for suggestionsConsulting is likely to be successful if you present a proposal as tentative and encourage people to suggest ways to improve it, rather than asking people to react to an elaborate plan that appears already to be complete. Encourage the person to express any concerns or doubts about your planEncourage people by listening carefully without getting defensive or angry. Show the person that you are paying attention. Consider objectively whether your proposal needs to be modified Modify the proposal to deal with concerns and incorporate suggestionsPeople will stop making suggestions if you immediately dismiss them or simply ignore them. Try to incorporate suggestions and deal with people’s concerns. Thank people for their ideas and explain how they will be used.
Inspirational AppealsMaking a request or proposal that arouses enthusiasm by appealing to a person’s values and ideals Appeal to the persons values, ideals and aspirations Develop enthusiasm by appealing to a person’s pride in performing a challenging task. Describe a vision of what can be accomplished with the person;s cooperation and support.
Appeal to the persons values, ideals and aspirationsYou can help develop enthusiasm and commitment by linking the work to people’s needs, values, hopes, and ideals. Develop enthusiasm by appealing to a person’s pride in performing a challenging task.Most people like to feel unique and important. Values that can be particularly inspiring include the desire to accomplish something worthwhile. Describe a vision of what can be accomplished with the person;s cooperation and support.A vision is a description of what could be accomplished and how the future could look. Efforts to implement major innovations will be be more succesful if people have a vision that is attractive enough to justify the effort and cost of changing familiar ways of doing things.
Coalition TacticsSeeking the aid of others to persuade a person to do something or using the support of others as an argument for why he/she should agree Mention credible people who support your plan or proposal. Bring someone with relevant expertise along to support you Ask others to provide evidence in support of your porposal
Mention credible people who support your plan or proposal.Mention the names of others who support your proposal or request. These should be credible people whom the person respects. Endorsements are an overt form of coalition building Bring someone with relevant expertise along to support youAnother form of Coalition building is to bring along somebody whom the person respects when you try to influence him or her. It is usually more effective to have an ally join you than merely mention the person’s name as an endorser of your request or proposal Ask others to provide evidence in support of your proposalBack up your proposal with facts
Exchange TacticsOffering to do something that would benefit a person in return for his/her carrying out your request Offer to share the benefits from an activity or project Offer to do some of the person’s work Ask if there is a work related task you can do for the person in return
Establishing AuthorityEstablishing the legitimacy of a request by showing that you have the authority or right to make it, or by verifying that it is consistent with organizational policies, rules, practices, or traditions. Tell the person that your request is consistent with organizational policies and rules. Tell the person that you are asking him/her to do has been approved by someone with proper authority Say that your request or proposal is consistent with tradition or precedent in the organisation
Tell the person that your request is consistent with organizational policies and rules.This approach can be used when a person is resisting a request and does not realize that it falls within one of his or her job responsibilities. It can be used to specify how a task should be done when the person is not aware of formal policies or rules or has opted to ignore them Tell the person that you are asking him/her to do has been approved by someone with proper authorityIn some cases, you make a request on behalf of someone else who has authority over the person you are dealing with. When you make the request, it may be useful to mention that your common boss authorized it Say that your request or proposal is consistent with tradition or precedent in the organisationThis tactic is used in situations where you have not made this kind of a request before. You could mention an informal tradition, rather than a formal rule or policy
Pressure TacticsUsing demands or persistent reminders to convince a person to do what you want. Remind the person insistently that your request has not been carried out Check repeatedly to see if the person has carried out your requests Ask the person to persistently agree with your request
Remind the person insistently that your request has not been carried outRemind the person that your request has not been carried out yet. The initial reminder should be done in a polite non threatening way. If the initial reminder is unsuccessful, additional reminders may be useful. Another tactic is to ask the person why a task is delayed. This conveys your impatience and also provides opportunity for an explanation. Check repeatedly to see if the person has carried out your requestsMonitor the person’s activities more closely than usual to determine if progress is being made on a request or assignment. Most useful in case the person is a direct report Ask the person to persistently agree with your requestThis method is usually appropriate when the person is a colleague or someone over whom you have no direct authority.
Propaganda Propaganda is a specific type of message presentation directly aimed at influencing the opinions of people, rather than impartially providing information. In some cultures the term is neutral or even positive, while in others the term has acquired a strong negative connotation. Its connotations can also vary over time. The aim of propaganda is to influence peoples opinions actively, rather than merely to communicate the facts about something. .What separates propaganda from "normal" communication is in the subtle, often insidious, ways that the message attempts to shape opinion.
Resisting Influence Effective managers are also able to resist inappropriate influence attempts from others. Resisting Reason. Resisting Exchange. Resisting Pressure.
Resisting Reason: Present alternative reasoning. When someone is trying to use reason to get us to do something, we should respond in one of two ways: (1) cooperate because the reasoning is sound, or (2) tactfully explain why we do not think it would be wise for us to cooperate. In other words, reason can be resisted with counter-reasoning. We may need to call attention to the bigger picture or the flaw in the logic. Defend your rights. Some people become slaves to their desire to be helpful to others. Being cooperative and a "team player" is great, but each of us should remember that we have rights. We shouldnt sacrifice our priorities in order to help others. We have a right not to help coworkers who are becoming overly dependent on our help. We have a right to use our free time to pursue innovative projects. We have a right to work a reasonable number of hours. Sometimes we have to assertively stand up for our rights. In pop-psych terms, "people pleasers" need to develop "boundaries." Firmly refuse. Sometimes people are a little overzealous in their efforts to use reason to influence us. They have ideas to "sell" to us. And, like all good salespeople, those zealots dont give up when we voice our objections---they try to answer them. As long as we continue to present counter-reasoning, the debate will continue. Even in relationships that we would like to keep harmonious, sometimes we need to firmly refuse a request and firmly refuse to discuss it further.
Resisting Exchange. Scrutinize gifts and favors. We should consider the motives of people who give us gifts and do favors for us. One is not suggesting that gifts and favors are always manipulative, but we should decline gifts from people who may be using them to bias our decision making. Reject manipulative bargaining tactics. When we notice a party who were bargaining with is using manipulative tactics such as rushing us into an agreement or trying to change terms weve already agreed upon, we should call attention to the manipulation, explain why we dont want to bargain that way, and suggest a different approach to bargaining. Stop bargaining. If we dont approve of someones bargaining style, we can refuse to bargain with him or her. Unless were willing to walk away from negotiations, the other party has leverage over us.
Resisting Pressure: Build your power base. In the famous words of British historian, Lord Acton, "Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely." Perhaps he exaggerated, but most of us have been in situations where people whove had a lot of power over us have treated us in insensitive and selfish ways. By building our own power base, we reduce the chances of a powerful person pressuring us. Defend your rights. Each of us has a right not to be exploited. When someone is intimidating or coercing us, we should confront him or her, clearly explain what theyre doing that we perceive to be intimidating or coercive, and state that no one should be treated that way. Actively resist. The only way to deal with some people is by fighting back. By reporting the problem to senior managers or external parties, we may be able to get some relief from coercion or intimidation.
In a Nutshell You cant manage others if you cant or wont influence them. Influencing others is a fundamental managerial activity. Being effective at influencing others usually doesnt mean using your leverage to push them around ... but sometimes it does. The best managers actually use a range of influence tactics. When possible, they reason with their staff, peers, superiors, etc. to get the cooperation needed. However, in some circumstances, offering something in exchange for cooperation works best. Sometimes managers simply have to use pressure to get what they need, even though it can strain relationships.