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Influence in the business world is the ability to impact the character, development, or behavior of co-workers, leaders, and teams. Tactics of influence can include consultation, ingratiation, legitimizing, rational persuasion, exchange, coalition-building, inspirational appeals, applying pressure, and personal appeals.
Influence is part of our Engineering Career Leveling Framework. Explore next steps in your career from this industry-standard model.
Intro to InfluenceInfluence is a crucial aspect of Leadership and organizational success, as it involves the ability to persuade others to take action or adopt a particular point of view. It is a complex and multifaceted concept that can be influenced by a range of factors, including personality, communication style, and situational context.
- Master the Art of Influence — Persuasion as a Skill and HabitTyler explains: • Understand How Our Brains Make Decisions • Harness Biases to Make Your Case: Availability, Anchoring, Representation, Coherence, & Framing • Tactics: Keep it simple, make your solution or plan vividly easy to visualize, ruin surprises on purpose
Frameworks for InfluenceThere are several frameworks for understanding and applying influence in organizational settings, including social influence theory, persuasion tactics, and the power and politics model. Each framework emphasizes different aspects of influence, such as the role of social norms, the use of emotional appeals, or the importance of strategic alliances.
- How to be influential at workZainab explains the six key ways to build influence & trust: • Reciprocation: We are more likely to return a favor. • Commitment and Consistency: We are more likely to commit to your ask if it is written down or established as a goal. • Social Proof: We tend to follow what others are doing. • Likability: We are persuaded by those similar to us. People don’t buy what you sell, they buy why you sell it based on what you believe.
Navigating Organizational PoliticsNavigating organizational politics is a key aspect of developing influence in the workplace, as it involves understanding and managing the complex network of relationships, power dynamics, and competing interests that shape organizational decision-making. Effective political skills include building alliances, managing conflicts, and maintaining a strong ethical compass.
- Know how your org works (or how to become a more effective engineer)Cindy explains how almost everything at a company "is political, and beyond a certain level, advancing further requires getting really good at playing this game." She then explains various aspects of navigating organizational politics: • The Mirage of Aspiration • Know How Your Org Works • Soft Skills Are Hard Skills • Understand Implicit Hierarchies • Cultures: Top-Down, Bottom-Up, and Both • Get comfortable with the “mess” • Look For Small (And Any) Wins • Understand Org Constraints and Manage Your Expectations
- Being right is only half the battleIn this talk, Rod explains how to capitalize on your interpersonal connections within your workplace to drive consensus, to optimize your time and efforts while selling your ideas to others, to reduce surprise to help you achieve your goals, and to build a strategy that can be bought into by other leaders and executed on by your team without you having to micromanage the process.