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How to Influence The Good The Bad And The Ugly

        posted by , August 14, 2012

Influencing skills can't exist on their own.

The ability to influence without authority is a technique that relies on your professional and soft skills.

These 6 capabilities are the basis for influence.

1. Responsibility

Influence tends to be proportional to responsibility. If you don't have skin in the game people are less likely to listen.

The Good
Put yourself at the center of the action. Take and deliver worthy action items to expand your responsibility. When you're willing to step up and do some work you'll earn the right to be heard.

The Bad
Give plenty of advice but avoid taking action items.

The Ugly
Complain and criticize but refuse responsibilities.

2. Intentions

Why do you want to influence others in your organization? Your intentions matter because they usually are transparent.

The Good
Genuine focus on solving business problems. When you're a team player personal rewards soon follow.

The Bad
Focus on personal goals, solving business problems is secondary.

The Ugly
Completely focus on personal goals no matter how destructive your path may be to the business.

3. Credibility

Competition for influence is intense. When you're knowledgeable and competent people are more likely to listen to your opinions.

The Good
You read business and technical articles in your free time. You interact with the top professionals in your field. You seek to truly understand the why, what, how, when, where and who. People see you as a trusted advisor on a range of topics.

The Bad
Fake it. Use buzz words you don't fully understand.

The Ugly
Gain a reputation as being fully of misinformation (BS).

4. Aggression

If you want something you need to ask for it. Seek to communicate with decision makers at every level of your organization.

The Good
Seek to walk with giants. Aggressively pursue your interest in business initiatives. Engage people at all levels of your organization who play an important role.

The Bad
Wait for opportunity to come your way.

The Ugly
Focus on getting the attention of executives without the support of your boss. You have to earn your face time with key decision makers — jumping the gun is the worst thing you can do.

5. Communication

Effective communication is key to influence.

The Good
Listen with intent to understand. Speak plainly and effectively. Speak with intent to be understood.

The Bad
Speak without listening. Speak with intent to sound intelligent.

The Ugly
Ineffective communication. Ramble without a point. Come off as negative and bitter. Put people to sleep with long, complex, self indulgent speeches.

6. Social

Social skills tend to bring influence. If you make friends easily – people will be more open to your ideas.

Social skills are difficult to turn on and off. When you're only upwardly social it's likely to backfire.

The Good
You seek friendship and goodwill in you colleagues. Your influence grows with your network of friends.

The Bad
Keep a distance from coworkers.

The Ugly
Kiss up to anyone with political power, be cold to anyone else. Play political games that get in the way of making social connections (i.e back-stab people).

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Decision making tips, strategy and techniques.

This list can be used by MBA graduates working on their resume, by hiring managers who are interviewing MBA graduates or by perspective MBA students who are evaluating graduate programs.

Adversarial negotiation strategy often resembles battle strategy. Things get messy.

The fine art of negotiation.

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