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Articles about Influence Skills

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Article: Bad, Wrong, or Stupid: How not to Influence

Excerpt: “...Whether the topic is politics, business, fashion, or even the choice of which sports team to support, it’s difficult to imagine that a person we work with, like, or are related to can possibly see the world so differently from the way we do. Family ties, friendships, and working relationships can be strained or even broken by the way we react to one another’s opinions and actions. A lot has been written recently about how “tribal” we have become: living in a bubble or an echo chamber, watching, listening to and reading the media that aligns with and reinforces our own opinion. ...”

Article: When Influence Fails

Excerpt: “As a long-time student of interpersonal influence, a frequent speaker and author of a book on the topic, I’m inclined to assume that a failure to influence (mine or anyone else’s) is a result of a hitch in planning, a missed opportunity, a skill deficit, or perhaps just poor timing. On reflection, though, it’s clear to me that some situations don’t lend themselves to influence. Sometimes an influence approach, no matter how well-thought-through or skillfully executed, will fail. ...”

Article: Influence Readiness: Setting Yourself Up for Success

Excerpt: “...So what is readiness when it comes to exercising influence? It means, first of all, that you have done your preparation. You’ve clearly identified the results you’re looking for. You’re confident that you have a positive and productive influence relationship with the other. You’ve identified key contextual information that needs to be taken into consideration. You’ve even put yourself in the other’s position enough to be able to predict how he or she might respond to you...”

Article: Living in the Matrix: How to Survive and Thrive

Excerpt: “...In a traditionally structured organization, it’s fairly easy to determine the power and decision structure—even though there are often informal ways to get things done that bypass the accepted route. Working across functional boundaries in a matrix organization can be as tricky as working across national or ethnic boundaries—the marketing, sales, manufacturing, and finance cultures can be as different as Latin cultures are from those of Asia, Africa, or Nordic countries. The strategy, goals, and reward systems of different functional areas may be conflicting, even though their representatives are working on the same team or project....”

Article: Organizational Culture and Influence

Excerpt: “...A culture of influence is a setting in which people with important information can create and distribute knowledge that others can use in making wise choices. It is a culture in which knowledge, expertise, and accountability rather than rank and role determine decisions. Only where information and power are both broadly distributed can a culture of influence develop and thrive.....”

Article: Influencing Upward

Excerpt: “Influencing upward uses the same behavioral skill set as any other form of influence—but because executives usually have less time and a broader perspective, there are certain actions you can take that will increase the likelihood that your influence opportunity will succeed. ...”

Article: Creating and Sustaining an Environment for Influence

Excerpt: “How can you as a leader create and sustain a climate in which ideas flow freely; where people communicate directly; where disagreement leads to better ideas rather than interpersonal conflict; where ‘common wisdom’ is challenged and innovation is encouraged? ...We hire people with the knowledge and talent to accomplish great things—but sometimes we don’t see the results that we hope for. Change is slow, and resistance is high toward anything really new....”

Article: Exercising Influence Across Boundaries

Excerpt: “Working across functional boundaries in the same organization can be as tricky as working across national or ethnic boundaries. Within a team or a function, it’s often possible to use either power or influence—whichever is appropriate to the situation... Across boundaries of team, function, or organization we often don’t have the option to use power—we must depend on influence...”

Article: Influencing Your Team

Excerpt: “Teams are, by their nature, influence organizations... Whether you are a team leader or a team member, you will need to influence others on your team to agree on goals and milestones, provide information, resolve problems or conflicts, offer or share resources, take on added responsibilities, and implement ideas or proposals. Team projects cannot be completed without agreements, yet innovation and excellence will only result from a free flow of ideas and active influencing in all directions.”

Article: Values, Influence, and Reframing

Excerpt: “When preparing for an important influence opportunity, we need to be aware of the context within which that opportunity exists. Context includes everything that may be relevant to the opportunity, but which we have no control over. There are a number of factors to consider... beliefs, values, preferences, and vested interests of those whom we need to influence and those who might be affected by it.”

All articles by Kim Barnes unless otherwise noted.

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