The extent to which your personal power comes from the assertive and aggressive behaviour you display in your influencing style.
The way this can work as an influencer mainly depends on the type of culture where you wish to be successful. In some, you have to be very aggressive just to appear relevant. Not having Force Power is not an option, but neither is it an advantage. Other cultures are far more collaborative, consensual and consultative. In these places, a healthy degree of assertion becomes very powerful provided it does not step over into aggression, which would make it a liability.
Strengths: It can signal a winning mentality and ruthlessness to be focused on the bottom line and personal or organisational success. This can be highly influential in environments where results are everything and internal competition is visibly fierce. The ability to be objective, dispassionate and ignore the impact on relationships can be appropriate in some cultures or some roles.
Limitations: Aggressive behaviours can alienate or intimidate less assertive and considerate types. They can also reduce approachability and, in turn, limit the level of disclosure and political intelligence that can be easily gained by more empathic types. It might even mean that vital bad news is withheld or that people resort to indirect or manipulative tactics to protect themselves.
Someone who models Force Power will…
- quickly raise their voice to be heard.
- not be afraid to shout people down.
- be prepared to “bang heads together”.
- be concerned with winning and being right.
- push people to their limits, and sometimes beyond.
- use a range of aggressive behaviours, e.g. fist banging the table.
- provide feedback in the most direct of styles.
- will make tough and objective decisions regardless of the impact on people.
- use a range of manipulation strategies to get what they want.
- will intimidate others if it produces results.
- Decide that you can use this force to protect yourself, not just for aggressing others.
- Ensure that you really understand the difference between aggression and assertion — chose carefully which is right for you.
- Learn how to promote your victories.
- Engage in dynamic forums where debate is the main focus and take an active and visible role.
- Learn political tactics and manipulation strategies — even if you don’t use them, this awareness is still important.
- Ensure you use the most direct and clear language.
- Never offer an automatic apology when you start to speak, e.g. “sorry to cut in here”.
- Avoid, “try” or “perhaps” or other weak words. Use “will” and “definitely” which signal decisiveness and strength.