What's Your Influencing Style?


A recent HBR paper What's Your Influencing Style? by Chris Musselwhite president and CEO of Discovery Learning Inc. and Tammie Plouffe is the managing partner of Innovative Pathways.

In this digital word as we search for influencers - what type is the most effect and what is the signal we are looking for?

Effective leadership today relies more than ever on influencing others — impacting their ideas, opinions, and actions.  From their research, they have a list of  five distinct influencing styles: rationalizing, asserting, negotiating, inspiring, and bridging.

  • Rationalizing: Do you use logic, facts, and reasoning to present your ideas? Do you leverage your facts, logic, expertise, and experience to persuade others?
  • Asserting: Do you rely on your personal confidence, rules, law, and authority to influence others? Do you insist that your ideas are heard and considered, even when others disagree? Do you challenge the ideas of others when they don't agree with yours? Do you debate with or pressure others to get them to see your point of view?
  • Negotiating: Do you look for compromises and make concessions in order to reach an outcome that satisfies your greater interest? Do you make tradeoffs and exchanges in order to meet your larger interests? If necessary, will you delay the discussion until a more opportune time?
  • Inspiring: Do you encourage others toward your position by communicating a sense of shared mission and exciting possibility? Do you use inspirational appeals, stories, and metaphors to encourage a shared sense of purpose?
  • Bridging: Do you attempt to influence outcomes by uniting or connecting with others? Do you rely on reciprocity, engaging superior support, consultation, building coalitions, and using personal relationships to get people to agree with your position?

So now you know your style (could be corporate) do you think how your style will be received by someone else and how can you adjust your style to align with their model.....and make it more effective - signal given, signal received, transmission modified....closing the loop!