Influential leaders are constant learners with an innate sense of curiosity that often drives them to learn and grow. The ability to influence is an essential leadership skill and a core component of how leaders build trust and increase their influence with others. It allows for everyone to work with different communication and influencing styles in a positive or productive manner.
Chances are, you’re already leveraging your power to influence people more than you know, but without knowing the influencing style or how it impacts people, you may be oblivious to the impact. By understanding the different influencing styles and how to use them effectively, you can learn to control the impact you’re making on the people around you. Through these styles, you can begin to intentionally develop meaningful relationships with your team members, colleagues, potential customers, and more.
There are five distinct influencing styles: rationalizing, asserting, negotiating, inspiring, and bridging. Each type can have a different impact in any given situation. Leveraging influencing styles can help you establish yourself as a leader, become more self-aware, and develop connections that will help you in your career growth.
The rationalizing style of influencing involves using logic and reasoning to influence people.
This style of influencing is often used when trying to impact someone who is an analytical thinker. When someone is more of a logical thinker, they will be influenced by objective facts, information that establishes them as a subject matter expert, and based on supporting data.
When you’re talking with someone, if you find that they are using sources to back up their information or that they are continually taking a more logical approach to the conversation, you may want to consider shifting to rationalizing.
This will help them feel confident in what you’re saying, and you’ll significantly impact the analytical thinkers who will trust what you say.
The asserting style of influence is when someone uses their authority and preferences to apply pressure and motivate someone.
This style of influencing is used by people who are confident and convincing. When someone says something with power and confidence, people tend to listen.
The assertive influencing style doesn’t often need data to prove a point or a conversation back and forth to influence someone. Instead, it takes a direct approach to influence people by positioning yourself as the expert.
This style of influence can often be effective when there is hierarchal power—people are going to be influenced by you just because of who you are and what you say.
An assertive influencing style can help you make meaningful networks by establishing you as someone who is an expert and is well respected. People who are going to be influenced by an assertive influencing style are going to look up to you and want to network with you.
Positive and negative negotiation influences one’s confidence level because it allows you to find common ground where both parties are happy.
If there’s not one right way or a bit of conflict, negotiating can allow you to influence someone to agree with you by giving and taking where necessary. When negotiating, people can feel like their needs are met.
You may find it helpful to negotiate with someone with different interests or ideas. Being open and willing to negotiate creates an opportunity to build a relationship with someone because they’ll be more willing to listen to what you have to say. Negotiation allows both parties to feel satisfied with where you’ve landed.
You can influence people by inspiring them. By sharing past experiences or using motivational words, you can influence people to act. People often like to feel encouraged and motivated by other people’s success, which is when the inspiring influencing style can be impactful.
This style of influencing can be done through simply sharing past experiences or ideas about the future, but it can also be achieved by finding a common goal or vision and motivating people to work towards it together.
If someone is hopeful or has a shared interest, you may find that inspiring them will be the most impactful. You can develop a meaningful connection by working together for a common goal.
People like to feel good about working toward something, and through inspiration, you can help them feel good.
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The final influencing style is bridging, which is about building connections between people. This style of influencing often makes people feel seen and noticed. Through asking questions, intentionally listening to answers, and finding common grounds, you can bridge the gap with just about anyone.
This influencing style draws people in because it creates connections and builds relationships where there might not have been anything before. You can develop a meaningful network through this style by making people feel valued and included.
You can also use bridging to connect people together and help them build meaningful relationships with each other, where both parties will associate you with the connection. This will help you be an influential person in their lives for longer.
If what gets measured gets managed, you can learn to build trust by using effective influencing styles by creating strategies that will help you to measure your interactions and influence. Networking strengths and weaknesses, and natural inclination will be different for everyone based on who they’re interacting with, their role, and more.