Welcome to fourth challenge of our #testingtimes campaign!

To help you explore your influencing styles, we created a self-assessment. Click here to complete the short quiz.

SPOILER ALERT! We recommend you complete the quiz before reading on.

If you are one of our registered players, you will get a free report with an assessment of your personal style and what it means for how you approach strategic adviser relationships. If you are not a registered player, we can produce a report for you for £50 (+VAT, if applicable).

Have you done the quiz? If so, read on….

During our business simulations we often explore how important it is for a senior executive to adapt their influencing style to the objective and the audience. While many leaders do this intuitively, this is a skill we can all learn and practice.

Indeed, there is a strong market in courses on Influencing Styles. Companies and French and Raven, Musselwhite and Plouffe and the fantastic work of Positive Power and Influence. But the challenge we find is that, while people can (mostly) remember their own preferred style, they have trouble naming, let alone recognising, the other styles in the model.

Influencing styles are like languages. We all have our preferred, our default, and sometimes a second or third language we can speak well. And many of the readers of this blog will be able to recognise other languages even if you don’t speak it.

That’s why we created RECIPE. “R-E-C-I-P-E” is a mnemonic for the six most common influencing styles used in business. Building on the ingredients from existing models, RECIPE can help you understand not only your own style, but be able to spot other styles in action.

Without further ado, here are six archetypes to remember your RECIPE for success:

StyleWhat it sounds like…Use it when …Tip!
Reward“As a sign of good faith…” 
“Here’s a little extra”
… don’t need anything immediate 
… want to establish long-term rapport
Every time you work late, for nothing, you are investing in the relationship with a “reward” behaviour
Exchange“What can I do for you?”

“Here’s the deal”
… you both have something the other wants
… short-term
This is great for sales or to motivate a team with a clear goal in sight.
Connect“This is what we can achieve together”
“Yes, we can!”
… want to create an atmosphere of unity
… have a shared goal
Find the high level goal you are both aiming for. Good for internal communication.
Inform“I recommend this for three reasons”
“Evidence suggests that…”
Your audience will be persuaded by facts and figuresUse it sparingly or when you have an airtight case. Remember: not the only tool in your arsenal.
Picture“Imagine what our business will be like in 2021”
“Make America Great Again”
… you want to tap into emotions
… paint a picture of success
Powerful way to open and close a presentation.
Exit“Let’s take a break!”
“Let me reflect and come back to you.”
… sense you are not getting anywhere
… need to change gear
… feel you are the wrong person
This is not bluffing or walking away. Make sure you establish a time and place to reconnect.

Now put it into practice

Using RECIPE can help you improve your chances of getting what you want, and in a way that works for the other person. A great influencer can mix and match styles depending on the situation. But as with everything mastery takes practice.

Start by taking the time to consider your preferred approach, then start practicing other styles in low-risk environments (like a business simulation!) and, then, start mixing and matching.

Good luck!