Being able to influence people is not only an important part of management, but it is also an important part of being a leader. It is very difficult to manage or lead others if you are incapable of influencing them. Skilled managers are adept at using a number of tactics to influence others. One of the tactics which they make use of is being able to reason with their staff, as well as their superiors. Additionally, managers and leaders also use pressure tactics in order to influence those beneath them.
To be a successful manager or a leader, you must not only be able to influence others, but you must also be able to stop others from influencing you in a negative manner. One step towards influencing others successfully is to be able to develop strategies which are interpersonal. While management is often defined as "being able to accomplish things through others," this is a very simplified definition.
Management is not identical to influencing others. While creating a power base should never be the primary goal of either a manager or leader, having a degree of power is necessary for them to be able to succeed.
Even if you have the ability to influence others, this does not automatically mean that you can be a successful manager. However, if you are ineffective at influencing others, this is generally a sign that you have weak leadership or management abilities.To be successful when it comes to influencing others, one must be able to make use of the proper influence strategy.
While there are times when reasoning with others is a great way to get what you want, there are times when such a strategy is ineffective, and it is better to use a bit of pressure instead. Alternatively, you can also make use of reason in order to influence others in a manner which is conducive to your success.
The Use of Reason, Pressure, and Exchange to Successfully Influence Others
The use of reason is perhaps one of the best ways to influence others, but it should only be used at appropriate times. Managers who make use of reason to influence their staff will often gain a lot of respect, not only from their staff, but the organization as a whole. To use reason, all you need to do is explain to someone why its useful for them to carry out the tasks that have been given to them.
For example, when a manager gives a project to members of their staff, and it is a project which is less than desirable, the manager can explain to their staff why this project is needed, and how it is crucial to the success of the organization.
Once the employees understand the role the project plays in the organization, they will be much more likely to complete it in an efficient and timely manner. Reason is an excellent influence strategy to use when you are dealing with individuals you trust, and where you have time to explain the reason for the task. Also, when using reason, give explanations in a manner which appeals to the self interest of those you are trying to influence.
Another strategy that you will want to become familiar with is the exchange strategy. As the name implies, this is a method whereby you influence people by simply making a trade.
People tend to be highly motivated when they are given an incentive which is worthwhile. While this incentive can be monetary, this does not always have to be the case. Anything which is valuable to the person which you wish to influence can be used as a bargaining chip in order to get them to do what you want. With the exchange strategy, there is no reason for you to explain anything.
This strategy is good in situations where time is short, or where you are dealing with someone who has values which differ from yours. The Pressure strategy is the third influencing strategy, and it involves coercion and even intimidation.
Using the Pressure Strategy to Influence Others
Many people hate the idea of trying to use either coercion or intimidation to get what they want from others. However, there are times in which this strategy is useful, and more effective than using Reason or Exchange.
Generally, this strategy is best reserved as a last resort, once the other two options have failed, or are not necessary. In order for this strategy to work, you must be able to threaten something that the person you are trying to influence holds dear.