Positional power—People with positional power generally exercise greater influence in a group or social network. They talk more, interrupt others more often and they tend to guide conversations by choosing topics important to them. Challenging those with positional power requires that individuals maximize their personal impact.
Emotion—Passion for one's subject or strong commitment to a specific issue can overcome positional power by enlisting the support of those who are more powerful. "Indeed, the impassioned speech, the plea for clemency, the summation to the jury that brings them to tears and wins the case for the defendant — this is the stuff of Hollywood climaxes."
Expertise, the third aspect of influence—Expertise alone can rarely lead to domination of a conversation, but when combined with passion it presents a powerfully influential stance.
The "dance of human interaction"—The most subtle of the components, we all participate in this form of influence, with greater or lesser degrees of success. Encompassing a range of communication skills, from nonverbal signs of confidence to gestures, tones, eye contact, body language and more, leaders can use these skills to create powerful connections with others that help command influence.
In a recent blog, Breanne Potter-Harris reports: "To define and execute a strategy requires the ability to create and communicate a vision and also the ability to build trust, persuade, and influence others to support your vision with their resources. One might assume that all leaders excel at resolving conflict, influencing others, communicating a vision, and building trust, but that is not a reality in most organizations.
"The truth is the leadership competency skills gap is very real, and leaders with a control-based mindset will struggle adapting to the new collaborative environment. In fact, less than 31% of leaders have the soft skills necessary to lead in a matrix structure."
But aspiring leaders can learn to assess these skills, develop them and use them to drive success. In Executive Forum's three-day Power of Influence workshop, participants learn how to create 'invisible' lines of trust that build loyalty, encourage cooperation, make teams and other peer networks more effective and drive success for both individuals and organizations. Find out more about the action-oriented model you can use to grow leadership skills in the next Power of Influence workshop on July 11. Call 503.635.3079 or contact us for more information.
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