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From My Desk

The Voltage of Your #Influence

How Influence Works

INFLUENCE is the application of POWER/VOLTAGE to accomplish a specific PURPOSE. Research shows that people typically try to lead and/or influence others using ten positive influence techniques: logical persuading, legitimizing, exchanging, stating, socializing, appealing to relationship, consulting, alliance building, appealing to values, and modeling. There are also four negative or "dark side" influence tactics: avoiding, manipulating, intimidating, and threatening, which we will cover in another post.

Influence can be as complex as forming an alliance of nations to try to influence a rogue country's leadership to change its policies or as simple as a child smiling and extending his hand in an offer of friendship.

"Every time we try to affect how other people think, behave, or decide, we are trying to influence them".

A smile and a handshake are attempts to socialize (see below), to form a connection and break down barriers. As people get to know us and like us, they are more likely to say yes to our requests.

Here are POSITIVE forms of Influence!

The "Logical Approach

Logical persuading

Using logic to explain what you believe or what you want. The number one influence power tool throughout the world. The most frequently used and effective influence technique in nearly every culture, but it does not work with everyone and in some circumstances will not work at all.


Appealing to authority. On average, the least-effective influence technique in the world, but it will work with some people most of the time and most people some of the time and can result in quick compliance.


Negotiating or trading for cooperation. Most effective when it is implicit rather than explicit. Used less often globally than any other influence technique, but it is sometimes the only way to gain agreement or cooperation.


Asserting what you believe or want. One of the influence power tools. Most effective when you are self-confident and state ideas with a compelling tone of voice. Can cause resistance, however, if overused or used heavy-handedly.

The "Social Angle"


Getting to know the other person, being open and friendly, finding common ground WITHOUT PICKING UP YOUR SMART PHONE!!. Includes complimenting people and making them feel good about themselves. One of the influence power tools. Second in frequency and effectiveness globally. A critical technique in many cultures and situations.

Appealing to Relationship

Gaining agreement or cooperation with people you already know well. Based on the length and strength of your existing relationships. One of the influence power tools. Third highest in effectiveness globally.


Engaging or stimulating people by asking questions; involving them in the problem or solution. One of the influence power tools. Fourth globally in frequency and effectiveness. Works well with smart, self-confident people who have a strong need to contribute ideas.

Alliance building

Finding supporters or building alliances to help influence someone else; using peer or group pressure to gain cooperation or agreement. Not used often and not always effective but in the right circumstances may be the only way to gain consent.

Tapping into the EMOTIONS!

Appealing to values

Making an emotional appeal or an appeal to the heart. One of the principal ways to influence many people at once and the best technique for building commitment. A frequent technique of religious or spiritual leaders, idealists, fundraisers, politicians, and some business leaders.


Behaving in ways you want others to behave; being a role model; teaching, coaching, counseling, and mentoring. Fifth globally in effectiveness. Can influence people without you being aware that you are influencing. Parents, leaders, managers, and public figures influence others through modeling all the time - positively or negatively - whether they choose to or not.

All of these ideas listed are ways you can implement your influence in a positive way at work, home, your church and within your social circle. You will see that if you fully apply yourself, you can truly expand the boundaries of your influence and fulfill your purpose here on earth. Until next time I dare to rise and be all that God has purposed you to become.

Don Railey

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