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Monday, December 23, 2013

The Influence Style Spectrum: Five Preferences

This post continues a series of articles about influence style and the Influence Style Indicator (ISI) assessment developed by Discovery Learning, Inc. and Innovative Pathways.

We are all aware of the distinctive influence styles that people demonstrate. Some of these styles we instinctively understand and appreciate, while others we may find confusing, unclear, and frustrating. Our research has definitively identified five styles of influence. These five distinctive styles are Rationalizing, Asserting, Negotiating, Inspiring and Bridging. You can improve your leadership effectiveness if you know where you fall on the Influence Style Spectrum, when to modify your style, understand what situations your style works best in, and when it may prove ineffective. 

  • Asserting - You insist that your ideas are heard and considered and you challenge the ideas of others.
  • Rationalizing - You put forward your ideas and offer facts, logical, rational reasons to convince others of your point of view.
  • Negotiating - You look for compromises and make  concessions to reach outcomes that satisfy your greater interest. 
  • Inspiring - You advocate your position and encourage others with a sense of shared purpose and exciting possibilities.
  • Bridging - You build relationships and connect with others through listening, understanding and building mutually beneficial coalitions.

Understanding these styles can offer a critical window not only to your own ability to influence but also to appreciating how members of your team can work more effectively with each other. To best utilize each of these styles, leaders need to understand:

     • The value of each style
     • The most appropriate time to use each style
     • How each style can be used effectively
     • How each style might be used ineffectively

Contact us at Discovery Learning, Inc. for more information about the Influence Style Indicator assessment and how it might benefit your group or team.


See Also:

"Getting Your Way: Personal Style and Influence"


References

2011 Musselwhite, W. C., Penny, J. & Plouffe, T.  Influence Style Indicator Research & Development Report.  Discovery Learning Press,  Greensboro, NC.

2011 Musselwhite, W.C. & Plouffe, T.  Influence Style Indicator Style Guide.  Discovery Learning Press, Greensboro, NC.
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This post was adapted from a white paper by Chris Musselwhite, EdD, president and CEO of Discovery Learning, Inc.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Getting Your Way: Personal Style and Influence

In 2009 and 2010 Discovery Learning, Inc. and Innovative Pathways conducted research to identify and measure influence preferences. This research clearly identified five influence styles and resulted in an assessment tool, Influence Style Indicator (ISI), which effectively and efficiently measures an individual’s preferred influence style or styles. The complete Influence Style Indicator Research and Development Report is available for download from Discovery Learning, Inc.  Since 2010, considerable data has been collected using ISI that allows us to identify and better understand how influencing preferences are impacted by variables such as gender, nationality, and personality preferences. These will be discussed in future posts.

Introduction to Influence 

To influence effectively you must be adept at getting your opinions and ideas heard, recognized and considered by others. Influence inherently means that you are able to impact the ideas, opinions and actions of others. Influence strategies can range from reliance on position and power to education, encouragement and collaboration. When you influence effectively, you increase trust, support, and ownership for your priorities. When you influence ineffectively you increase mistrust, intimidation, and resentment. A key behavior of effective leaders is the capacity to influence those around them towards acceptance of beneficial outcomes. From the perspective of the Influence Style Indicator, we are defining influence as the interpersonal behaviors that we use to have a positive impact on another party’s choices.

Why Influence Matters 

Today’s workplace is characterized by levels of change and complexity that are unprecedented. Workplace realities such as identifying shared goals, leading complex and often dispersed teams, boundary spanning, coordinating matrixed projects and integrating diverse people and interests require the capacity to influence others. Good leadership involves leadership that has a positive and unifying impact. Whether you are leading, following, and/or collaborating, chances are you need to influence others to be successful. The ability to influence effectively is emerging as a key leadership skill for a new generation of leaders.

Have you ever been aware of someone’s influence style making an impact, positively or negatively, in a decision or direction your organization as making? Please share your comments below and contact us at Discovery Learning, Inc. for more information about Influence Style Indicator and how it might benefit your group or team.

References

2011 Musselwhite, W. C., Penny, J. & Plouffe, T.  Influence Style Indicator Research & Development Report.  Discovery Learning Press,  Greensboro, NC.

2011 Musselwhite, W.C. & Plouffe, T.  Influence Style Indicator Style Guide.  Discovery Learning Press, Greensboro, NC.
__________________________

This post was adapted from a white paper by Chris Musselwhite, EdD, president and CEO of Discovery Learning, Inc.

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