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Organizational Behavior – Power and Influence


 It is important to understand how to effectively influence people to achieve organizational strategies and goals and also identify the source or forms of power and influence.

Do you do the right things for the right reason?

When ones consider a topic of power and influence, what immediately springs to mind are the notions of aggression, assertion and non assertion.

Aggression: is when you seek to work at another persons expense, it can be defined as seeking to win or promote your own cause sometimes at the expense of another persons individual rights. It would be putting your case across in such a way that it is normally to the determent of the wishes or desires of another person and that would essentially contribute a win – lose situation.

Assertion: is standing up for your rights but in a way that it doesn’t violate the rights of another person in essence what we are doing here is promoting a win-win situation.

Non-Assertion: is essentially loose – loose because it is not standing up for your rights or the rights of another person, no creative alternative is explored and ultimately it leads to a lose – lose situation.

As we consider the enormity of the field of power and influence, think for a moment of somebody who has influenced you. As you picture that person in your minds eye you thought of somebody who influenced you positively as you tend to phase out those who have influenced you in a negative manner.

So what is Power and Influence?

Power:

  • Is the potential or ability to influence decisions and control resources.

  • Change the behavior of others to perform actions that they might not otherwise perform.

Influence:

  • The ability to alter another persons perception of the situation.

  • It is a process through which person attempts to extract compliance from others.

  • It resembles power but tends to be more subtle and indirect.

  • Power tends from specific sources or foundations whereas influence relies on tactics.

Sources of Power:

Organizational position: Because of our position in the organization we have:

  • Formal authority, Control of rewards and resource.

Personal behavior:

  • expertise, personal respect, reciprocal alliance

Situational forces:

  • Coercion, Informational access, Association

How do we go about influencing?

Since we now know the sources of power and definition of power, it is also important to know as to how we influence a situation. In other words we should be able to get what we want, get others to respond positively to what we are recommending.

Here is mentioned one of the models towards influencing others:

Power and Influence Model

  1. Become knowledgeable: become very clear on what you want to achieve and this relates to meaning which means you want to become knowledgeable you want people to see meaning behind what you are actually seeking to put into place or seeking to achieve

  2. Informal support: After you have clarity on what you want to achieve you need to gain informal support. So here you consider your sources of power depending on your position, personal behavior or situation.

  3. Campaign for broad support: once you have the informal support, you need to increase your sphere of influence so you can take your idea to other people which is now supported by a certain crowd. Hence you have a broader base to achieve what you are seeking to achieve.

  4. Gain formal approval and become accountable: at this point we have become morewor knowledgeable, we have researched and more comfortable and confident with what we want to propose, we have gained informal support, we have campaigned for broad support. The idea is now to take it to our managers or leaders and to get sign off. Once you get approval it is important to become accountable.

One of the best ways to influence people is not with your logic but with your passion.

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