Influencing without authority

Learn how reciprocity can help you influence others

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Do it because I told you so!

Back in the days, if you were in a position of authority, you could just announce what needed to be done and assume it would be carried out. But times have changed.

As companies expand and become more complex, no matter what organizational structure is in place, people must work with each other across reporting lines.

It doesn’t work to say, “Do it because I told you so.”

Cohen-Bradford Influence Model - Six steps leading to influencing others using reciprocity

Have you ever tried to get something – perhaps advice, support, or a key piece of information – from someone who didn't want to help you?

Sometimes, it can be extremely difficult to get people's help, especially when we have no authority over them. Even being in a position of power does not always mean that others will willfully give you what you need.

The six steps outlined below can help us identify what other people value. We can then use that information so that everyone gets the outcome they want.

Apply This to Your Life

Although you might not need to use the Influence Model right now, chances are there will come a time when you need something from someone, without using any authority:

  • Start preparing now. Pay attention to your colleagues and other key stakeholders in your organization. You can use Steps 3 and 4 outlined above to do this.

  • Focus now on building good relationships with others in your organization.

  • Help others whenever you can. Helping your colleagues not only feels good; your colleagues will likely be happy to repay the favor later.

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To read more about the approach and learn by reference to an example, follow the link below


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