My specialism is power and influence in the workplace, and I know that all of the tools and techniques I use can apply well in all types of organisation. This week, on a workshop, two of my delegates demonstrated this to great effect!
Niral is having problems with an overbearing (bullying) mother-in-law. Their life together is being dominated by her controlling ways and it is starting to have a very damaging effect on them — even though they don’t live with their mother! By getting more specific about her influencing objective Niral was able to quickly see that her mother-in-law was an adversary and her husband was hovering in the grey zone between opponent and ally. Niral quickly realised that she had been directing her focus and energy in the wrong direction. Instead, she needed to get her husband on side. She left re-energised and re-motivated by her new influencing campaign!
Sharon had a different challenge — how to get her boyfriend to propose marriage! Now we don’t need to go into the detail, but I’m sure it’s easy to relate to with the questions posed by her coach. Where would her prospective mother-in-law sit? Does she think Sharon is “good enough” for her darling boy? And what about the father-in-law? Could the friends be opponents, cajoling her boyfriend into spending time out on the town instead of settling down with Sharon? And then again, how about an ex-boyfriend still harbouring amorous ambitions? Does he have an adversarial stance scheming in the background to recover his lost love before it is too late? Sharon — good luck!
Both true stories. Influence is a social phenomenon and whenever people get together, influence tactics are in play. It would be really great to hear your thoughts and examples of using influencing approaches outside of work.