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The 7 Ways Leaders Influence People

by Dick Biggs

Leadership is about influence, which can be positive or negative.  Here are seven ways leaders influence people:

Negative Influence

Coercion: This is the "gun to your face" style of the tyrant.  While this forceful method can achieve short-term results, it produces a long-term drop in employee morale and high turnover.

Intimidation: "You will do this or your job's on the line" is the trademark of the dictator.  Only weak and insecure people will tolerate this style of influence.  There is no respect for the leader and the people are resentful.

Manipulation: This is the one-sided style of the controller.  The leader wins and everyone else loses.  The net result:   distrust and suspicion.


Neutral Influence

Negotiation: "Give and take" is probably the most common form of influence.  In short, it's the "keeping score" approach of the politician.  The good news--it can be reasonable effective when the result is "win-win."  The bad news--it often strains relationships and causes needless stress when the result is "win-lose."


Positive Influence

Persuasion: The orator knows how to stir hearts by appealing to emotions.  This style of influencer is powerful because the leader's wishes get carried out by the employees because they believe it's in their best interests.

Education: The practitioner influences people with logic.  People do what the leader wants because it simply makes sense.  The secret of this style is preparation.

Inspiration: This is the highest form of influence because the leader is a master of both emotional and logical techniques.  The greater the quality of inspiration provided by the leader, the greater the quantity of self-motivation that's displayed by the followers.  The encourager understands that words (eloquence) and ways (example) must be congruent.


What type of influencer are you?  Is there room for improvement?  If so, are you willing to make the necessary changes to become a better influencer?

Known as The A-Line-Ment Specialist, Dick Biggs works with organizations to boost bottom line profits and better the top line--people and their productivity.  A popular keynote speaker and seminar leader, he's the author of Burn Brightly Without Burning Out, and Maximize Your Moments With The Masters--a licensed, comprehensive mentor program.  Based near Atlanta, you can reach Dick at 770-886-3035, biggspeaks@mindspring.com  or check out his website at: http://biggspeaks.com   (no www).

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