The Center for Creative Leadership (CCL) has reported on an interesting finding from its research. The organization reviewed 360-degree feedback for first-time managers, and it discovered that many of these individuals received poor evaluations for their ability to influence others. However, people reported that the ability to exercise influence was an important leadership competence that would have made these managers much more effective.
How do you influence others? CCL points to the research of SUNY-Albany Professor Gary Yukl and four basic approaches to influencing others described in his work. You can attempt to persuade others through logical arguments and analysis. In contrast, you can appeal to their hearts, using an emotional and inspirational message. Third, you can give others voice and seek their input as a means of building buy-in for a proposal. Finally, you can offer resources and help to another party if they will help you enact a particular idea or initiative.
What do the best leaders do? They match the persuasion and influence tactic to the situation at hand. They examine the circumstances as well as the people they are trying to influence. Once you understand these factors, you can choose the right influence tactic - i.e. the one best-suited to achieve your goals in this situation.