1. Aside from rational persuasion, what techniques of influence do you believe are used most often in organizations? Why are these particular techniques used more frequently than others?
In my experience, different influence tactics are used depending on the setting. For example, managers are much more likely to use “hard” tactics with employees: silent authority, assertiveness, and even upward appeal. When dealing with managers or among peer groups, employees tend to focus on “soft” influence techniques. This includes persuasion, impression management, and exchange. The most interesting technique used by all groups is information control. It never ceases to amaze me how frequently being the gatekeeper of particular information can influence the power dynamic between two people.
2. Our next Lesson/chapter is on the Leadership topic; think about the best leader you have ever experienced. What tools/techniques/types of power and influence did your ‘best leader’ use frequently?
The best leader I’ve ever worked with avoided using role power (legitimate, reward, coercive) unless absolutely necessary. When dealing with new employees, this person focused on establishing himself as an expert in the field. This usually happened naturally as newcomers often have a lot of questions. Although it took longer, this person also worked to develop positive relationships (referent power) with each of his employees through regularly scheduled one-on-one meetings. Although it too much longer to establish, this power was much more effective to utilize, especially when compared to role-based power.
3. When you listen/read our Media Story for Chapter 10, you will learn about the relationship between ‘doing a favor for someone vs. corrupting influence.’ What topics from Chapter 10 or other Chapters do you think ‘best connect’ to the situation described in the Media Story? From the media story and Chapter 10, have you gained any lessons, guidelines, suggestions that you have found ‘ especially useful/interesting or applicable’ to your work place? If so, please share those with us.
The subject from our textbook that the media story most put me in mind of is organizational politics. Specifically, that organizational politics are just influence tactics that have a negative perception. In other words, using influence that is in the best interest of the organization and not for personal gain is acceptable. Trading favors seems to have a similar stamp. If done properly, trading favors is just how politics is done. But, go about it improperly, and it suddenly is perceived differently.
In my previous workplace, the owner of the company suffered from perception problems. Although many of the things he was doing were in the best interest of the company, he had a way of making everything appear self-serving. He relied far too much on role power rather than developing any expert or referent power. What I learned was that using your role to push even the best agenda will eventually result in resistance from those you are leading. People don’t mind being led, but they want to be led by people they trust, not just people that are in charge.