08 Aug Influencing Styles

Have you ever wondered whether successful influencers are born or made?  Is there a proven formula for being influential that can be learnt?  Should everybody therefore strive to influence in the same way?  Or, does everyone have a natural influencing style?  If so, can we change the way we communicate so that we become more influential?

 

Some people by virtue of their personality are naturally active influencers.  They are driven to communicate, network, lobby, propose, canvas support, and ‘play the politics’ in the workplace in order to ‘get their way’ or have their ideas adopted.  Others of us are not so naturally inclined and may feel that we are not the influential type.  Interestingly, the overt ‘push’ style of influencing is not always the most effective.  More subtle, ‘pull’ styles of influencing can be more effective in certain situations.

In general, your degree of influence depends on your approach to communication and the way you interact with others, and therefore people do tend to develop established ways of communicating for achieving their day-to-day needs.  In other words, we all have a preferred style of influencing.  However, the good news is that everybody can modify or adapt the way they communicate so that they are more influential.  Most influencing styles models refer not to personality traits but to patterns of behaviour. So you can change your influence style by consciously and routinely practicing new communication behaviours.

Influencing Styles models can be useful for increasing our awareness of the influencing behaviours we tend to use and for appreciating the influencing style of others.  There are almost as many Influencing Styles testing instruments as personality testing instruments.