Influencing Skills

What are positive influencing skills?

by Terry Gillen

They are non-manipulative, persuading behaviors. They enable you to achieve more with other people in such a way that they feel good about the interaction with you.

They are vital for modern organizations. After all, if managers have to rely less on their position in the hierarchy and more on their personal credibility, if specialists have to rely less on their technical knowledge and more on their personal credibility, if achieving results relies more on the active involvement of the workforce rather than on their passive acceptance or orders, everyone will need better face-to-face skills.

As managers are so central to many organizations, as they can determine how other people feel and think, let’s take them as an example. If, in modern organizations, managers are spending less time giving orders, checking that procedures are being followed and controlling what their staff get up to – what are they doing?

One would hope they are:

  • instilling the right values in people

  • agreeing targets with them

  • giving productive feedback

  • coaching people

  • helping people capitalize on learning opportunities

  • resolving differences of opinion

  • facilitating two-way communication.

All of these activities require skills that have little to do with the traditional view of motivating down the line; they have instead a lot to do with influencing other people.

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