Last week, my friend Dr Kendi Guantai at Leeds University Business School, invited me to spend the day with graduate students of the Business School. It was so much fun! I got to immerse them in the world of Corporate Snakes and Career Ladders. This time though the dilemma of how to address the concerns an important, yet tricky stakeholder.
During the business simulation, we explored how important it is for a senior executive to adapt their influencing style to the objective and the audience. Many leaders do this intuitively, but I’m convinced this is a skill we can all learn and practice.
For a while now I’ve been toying with the different influencing styles I’ve been exposed to over my career, and I think existing taxonomies are incredibly useful. I keep coming back to French and Raven, Musselwhite and Pfouffe and the fantastic work of Positive Power and Influence.
I think that all professionals should learn them and use them. I confess, however, the most popular approaches are so hard to remember, which makes it impossible for busy people like me and my team to retain, internalise and use.
That’s why a new RECIPE for influence is needed. I smell the scent of success coming out of the oven!
“R-E-C-I-P-E” is a mnemonic for the six most common influencing styles used in business. It has given my team and I a shared understanding, a shorthand, to talk about influence and motivation.
Without further ado, here’s my RECIPE for success:
|What it is||What it sounds like…||Use it when you…||Tip!|
|Reward||A style based in giving something for a future unspecified prize.||“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||You give and receive.||
“What can I do to make you stay”
“The deal is…”
|know you both have something the other needs/wants||This is great for sales or to motivate a team with a clear goal in sight.|
|Connect||Engaging the other at a personal, emotional level||
“This is what we can achieve together”
“Yes, we can!”
|want to create an atmosphere of unity||Politicians are the experts at connect|
|Inform||Using data and facts to make your points||I recommend this for three reasons…Evidence suggests that…||know the audience can be persuaded by reason/facts||
Use it sparingly when you have an airtight case.
Remember it’s not the only tool in your arsenal.
|Picture||Tapping into your audience’s imagination||“Imagine a year from now what our business will be like”||want to establish an emotional connection||It’s a very powerful way to open a presentation.|
|Exit||Allowing for time and space when you find yourself at an impasse.||Let’s take a break!Let me reflect on this and come back to you.||sense that you aren’t getting anywhere.||This is not bluffing or walking away. Make sure you establish a time and place to reconnect.|
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