You know, the way in which we behave as managers and the approach we take, will most definitely have a marked effect on our ultimate success or failure - sounds obvious?
Having a range of approaches and styles of behaviour gives us more flexibility. It increases our options - and our chances of success.
Most managers have a natural style of influence which they prefer to use whenever possible. More flexible managers also keep in reserve a fall back style, used when the preferred style doesn't achieve the desired results.
However, there are at least eight identifiable styles of influence - not including aggression, manipulation or force!
Because you are influencing a wide range of people, proficiency in a wider range of styles will ensure more success. Step outside the comfort zone of your natural style and enjoy greater success by practising new ways of influencing.
However, do think carefully which influencing style has the greatest chance of succeeding. Varying your styles too much may give you a reputation for being unpredictable
The Autocratic Approach
You tell them, they agree
This approach works best when supported by power, authority, age, knowledge or wisdom. Resistance or objections are minimised. You tell others what you want them to do and they do it.
Do remember though, that autocracy can be a high-risk strategy. It may result in a feeling of 'You won, I lost'. They'll get you next time.
The Collaborative Approach
You include others in the decision-making process.
This approach works successfully without you having any power or authority.
A word of caution, democracy takes time and can result in watered down solutions.
Remain consistently collaborative. Don't give up too early. Avoid imposing too many parameters or conditions - these will create frustration in others.
The Logical Approach
You use clear logical, unassailable arguments, supported by proof.
This approach works best when the other person is a logical, linear thinker. Avoid exaggeration and unnecessary emotion. Offer instead facts and figures.
But you may find this style long-winded and frustrating. You may even be forced to put it in writing. Allow time to prepare your argument, time to explain it, time to wait for a reaction.
The Emotional Approach
You use your natural charm, charisma or enthusiasm.
This approach works when your influence becomes a genuine extension of your own feelings and beliefs. Appealing to the long-term effects of your ideas, you will reinforce their continuing value.
Do remember though that emotional appeal carries risks. It can leave a nasty taste in the mouth. Painful memories linger longer.
The Assertive Approach
You ask directly, clearly and confidently for what you want, or don't want.
Assertiveness can have a lasting effect, especially on those who least expect it from you. Any resistance is met by your persistence.
Assertive influence carries little or no risk.
The Passive Approach
You win the day by being submissive, by not overtly influencing.
As you quietly demonstrate desired behaviours, others can see for themselves the value in following your lead. Many potential confrontations with power or authority demand submissive influence, which can pay positive dividends.
The downside is that your submissiveness may leave you with feelings of low-esteem. Can you live with this?
The Sales Approach
You use good old-fashioned salesmanship.
Draw out their point of view, understand their needs, demonstrate that you empathise; minimise resistance by showing how their ideas dovetail with your own; show how they will benefit.
Do realise though that logical or submissive people often hate an overt sales approach and may work hard to wreck your plans.
The Bargaining Approach
You trade concessions in order to reach a mutually acceptable conclusion.
Don't just share the cake - make it a bigger one. Your success as a fair negotiator will help cement the relationship.
Aim too low and you'll end up even lower. Over collaborate and you may regret giving too much away.
Always trade concessions.
The Power Of Positive Behaviour
Who has been a big influence in your life? A parent, relative, employer, friend or neighbour? Chances are that they often did nothing specific to influence you - they just behaved in ways that you took note of and decided to copy.
Behaviours that help the influencing process:
• Continuous maintenance of rapport
• Maintaining good eye contact
• Congruent body language which supports your messages
• Appropriate voice tone which underpins what you say
• Flexibility - being prepared to change your approach, when necessary
• Awareness and acceptance of the needs of others
• Lack of conditional words, which dilute your messages
In Summary: Modelling Behaviour
Ok, suppose you don't have sufficient flexibility of style. With practice, it's easy to observe, analyse and reproduce the effective behaviours of other people. If you've ever studied any skill under a master, you will already have done this.
Suppose you know a person who uses an influencing style in a particularly elegant or effective manner. You have identified this as something you would like to improve for yourself. By closely observing what works for that person and noticing the effect it has on others, you can begin to experiment by adopting these behaviours and strategies and making them work for you, too.
Behaviour is only behaviour - it can usually be replicated!
Today's News: Everybody is talking about Twitter, every day - of course, and today is no exception: Over on Dave Stein's blog he opines "Incorporating Twitter Into My Daily Mix" "Stato Stein" like me, has worked out that anything with "Twitter" in the header, achieves far more reads over at The Customer Collective hence the title of tody's post, which as you have just discovered, has nothing to do with Twitter at all!
Oh, and do check out the results of the ESR survey here - interesting stuff.
Jill Konrath is promoting an excellent upcoming event within her blog post this week - "Using Twitter, Facebook & LinkedIn To Market Your Business"
"I usually talk about sales in this blog, but this post is focused on social media. Why? Because it's hot, hot, hot!
What is social media? It's things like LinkedIn, Facebook, blogging & Twitter. We create our own content & share it with others.
More importantly, it's fundamentally changing how we do business. It's a low cost, high impact way to market your company and get new customers. In a tough economy, this should be reason enough to pay"
Meanwhile the debate about Sales Club continues with this comment from a Susan Lewis - a.k.a "Lewister"
"I'm a member of Sales Club and I don't quite understand what makes you think it's a scam. You (and Roger) haven't laid out any argument to make your case. Is it just because it's a pay site rather than free? The fact that we pay to be there adds to the value because you don't have to wade through miles of crap to get to something useful. I'm proud to be part of this group. All the other online groups I've tried just give me the need-to-take-a-shower-now feeling that most salespeople give off anyway."
(I don't actually remember seeing you there. Did you even come in to see what it actually was? There's a free trial so it's not like you couldn't have done so. Not very duly investigated in my book.)"
Thanks for the comment Susan. I think I have said all I need to say about Sales Club, and I really don't want to give you guys any more publicity. And no, you won't see me there - a free trial that requires me to give my credit card details to an unknown entity, does not actually fill me with confidence! Dumb and dumber?
If you really want to join a worthwhile sales community, that will cost you a fraction of the $240 you are paying Sales Club every year, I suggest you make it back here next Tuesday - and you won't want to take a shower afterwards - I promise.
BTW: I did pop over and visit your blog, to see what sort of people I might have been mixing with had I joined up - http://lewister.blogspot.com/ - "Two Tips for Ning" was interesting, but my real, real favorit was "Children's bedding options for easy decor" - absolutely riveting stuff, thank you!
Tomorrow: My plan was to go and have lunch with No.1 son in Cambridge, but we have to put the finishing touches to the new TSE site (launching Tuesday) and anyway, he is preparing for "Tripos" and has a "ton of Quantum to do for Monday" - so we'll get together next weekend. So, as ever, wherever you are, have a great weekend yourself, and I'll be back here on Monday for you - JF
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