Influencing Others – it’s arguably the #1 leadership skill to be proficient in.

And yet, most of us are not consciously aware of how we impact the opinions, thoughts and behaviours of others.

The Harvard Business Review article ‘What’s Your Influencing Style’ suggests that we naturally default to the same influence tactics time and time again. 

Here’s the interesting part. Their research identified 5 distinct influencing styles. If that’s the case, then it’s possible ‘using only your preferred style has the potential to undermine your influence with as many as four out of five people’.

Yikes. That’s a lot of under-influencing.

No worries. Here’s how you can flex your influence to gain higher impact.

Step # 1: Identify your dominant influencing style. Using the chart below, determine which style you tend to rely on most.

BRAIn Chart Final

Step # 2: Evaluate your influencing style. How often does it work for you? Are you more successful with certain types of people? Why?

Step # 3: Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice a different style if you’re not successful with the one you’re using. Different situations may call for different approaches. Knowing when you need to switch to another style makes you more effective.

Let’s use a personal example to bring this to life.

At a recent strategic planning meeting I was facilitating, I tried to persuade the leadership team of a medium-sized organization to be more open to taking bolder leaps to grow their business. This was met with strong resistance. “Our current model is working. We don’t have enough resources.”  

Sigh. 

At the time, I wasn’t aware of my influencing style. However, after working with the BRAIN Template (download below), I realized that my style preference is Rationalizing. What this team really needed was Bridging- Inspiring. 

Note to Self: Adopt a different influencing style when required.

How about you?

The next time you need to effectively influence, use the downloadable BRAIN Template to help organize your approach and gain higher impact.

Click here to Download BRAIN Summary and Template