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Monday, January 6, 2014

Influence Style Workplace Implications: Gender Differences

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.

Influence Style differences suggest interesting implications for the workplace, both locally and globally. Below we explore some of those differences focusing on gender. In later posts, we will cover nationality, age, and personality preferences.

Gender Differences in Influence Style

Most people might guess that there are gender differences in how people attempt to influence and persuade others. Awareness of these differences and the capacity to modify one’s influence preference might create a significant advantage in the workplace. Our data on nearly 2000 females and 2500 males confirms differences that are significant but not surprising. Men show a significantly preference for using the advocating or pushing styles of Rationalizing and Asserting. Women show a significant preference for using the uniting or pulling styles of Inspiring and Bridging. Women also show a significant preference for using the more neutral style of Negotiating. Differences in these preferences create the opportunity for miscommunication and misunderstanding. As an example, when the boss has an Asserting influence preference and the direct report has a Bridging preference there is a strong likelihood that the boss will interpret the Bridging communication style of the direct report as soft and lacking in opinion or substance.


Advocating
Orientation

Uniting
Orientation

Asserting
Rationalizing
Negotiating
Inspiring
Bridging
Females
6.02
8.82
6.00
7.71
11.46
Males
6.36
10.09
5.46
7.05
11.03

Significantly Higher

No Significant Difference

Significantly Lower


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"
"The Influence Style Spectrum: Five Preferences"


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.

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