Build Your Influence Repertoire with these 9 Options

We fall into any of 4 communication styles, which means, our preferences and behaviors fall into natural patterns.

Depending on who we’re with, our patterns may mesh well, or not. If they fall into the same styles as us, typically listeners will comply with our patterns. Typically. But not always. And a good 70% of the population will not fit into our communication style. That’s a heavy percentage of road blocks.

Understanding a variety of tactics that enable influence is crucial for any of us who want results with others, peace of mind that we can influence, pleasure in watching folks agree or pride in helping folks be accountable.

Below is a great article which defines Gary Yuki’s 9 influence tactics and gives you the chance to see which tactic you most often use, but also offers alternatives.

9 Influence Tactics

Gary Yukl (2002), researcher in leadership and influence, and professor in the School of Business at the University of Albany, has nine main influence tactics that he and Carolyn Chavez define in Classification of Proactive Influence Tactics in “Influence Tactics and Leadership Effectiveness”: inspirational appeal, rational persuasion, consultation, ingratiation, personal appeals, exchange, coalition tactics, legitimating tactics, and pressure.

  1. Inspirational appeal is a subjective influence tactic as it occurs when the agent seeks to gain commitment by arousing the target person’s emotions (Yukl & Chavez, 2002).
  2. Rational persuasion, on the other hand, is a more objective influence tactic, it occurs when the agent uses logical arguments and facts to influence a decision (Yukl & Chavez, 2002).
  3. Consultation is when the agent seeks the target persons’ participation in the decision making process, asking the target person to express his concerns or suggest improvements (Yukl & Chavez, 2002).
  4. Ingratiation occurs when the agent uses praise or flattery to win their target person over (Yukl & Chavez, 2002).
  5. Personal appeal is when the agent uses a close interpersonal friendship between the agent and the target person to influence the target person to carry out a task or favor (Yukl & Chavez, 2002).
  6. Exchange is defined as when the agent offers an incentive, say an exchange of favors, if the target person complies with the agent’s request (Yukl & Chavez, 2002).
  7. Yukl & Chavez (2002) defines coalition tactics as when the agent uses the aid of other already complying individuals to gain the support of the target agent; in other words, the agent is using the Bandwagon Fallacy, using popular support to persuade commitment from his target person (Yukl & Chavez, 2002).
  1. Legitimating tactics is when the agent refers to the rules or formal policies to prove that he or she has legitimate authority to seek their target person’s support (Yukl & Chavez, 2002).
  1. Finally, pressure occurs when the agent intimidates his target person to comply with their request by using demands, threats, and persistent reminders (Yukl & Chavez, 2002).

Consider these applications

If you don’t usually get emotional, but those you’re wishing to influence operate this way, use an emotional appeal like inspiration, consultation or ingratiation.

Conversely, if emotion is your go-to approach and you’re with those who minimize theirs, work on your ability to instead use rational or legitimizing tactics.

At times, all we need is to make use of our trusting relationship with the individual, or enable our personal appeal. Seldom does pressure work, and yet we use this when we’re facing risk or losing our own ability to be rational. When it appears we are unable to influence on our own, we need to consider exchanges or even coalition approaches.

Our natural patterns keep us comfortable, but they don’t always create influence. Review this list of 9 appeals and consider adding them to your communication style repertoire. You’ll break down a few influence barriers.

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