What can you learn about change from Baker’s Four Strategies of Influence?
Are you using the right persuasion tactics to influence the people you engage with?
Whether you are trying to drive engagement within your team, make a business case to your boss, or sell a product or service to a customer, the methods that you use to influence decision makers should be tailored to the situation and the individual you are speaking with.
Every minute of every day, individuals engage in various forms of persuasion in order to get what they want. Some of us can be pushy, while others can be more subtle in our tactics. For some of us, we approach every argument or negotiation logically, while others approach each encounter emotionally. The majority of individuals use some blend of these various negotiation and persuasion tactics to varying degrees of success.
The way in which different people try to persuade one another depends on their backgrounds, their personalities, and the backgrounds and personalities of those they are in communication with. The ways in which these conversations can go is incredibly varied, but at the end of the day there tend to be four main ways that people try to influence one another.
People typically try to persuade one another with one of two styles: by pushing a particular agenda or by pulling stakeholders together to come to one conclusion. The push style of persuasion refers to a direct and assertive method of making a point or proving a point. This style of persuasion is effective in competitive sales environments or environments in which people are open to debate and collaboration. In comparison, a pull style of persuasion requires the use of more subtle persuasion tactics which are designed to draw people in before making a specific point or reaching a certain objective.
Beyond these two styles there are two specific approaches used to persuade people: emotional and logical. Emotional persuasion works by tapping into an individual’s (or a group’s) emotional response to a specific topic or subject. Logical persuasion appeals to an individual’s intellect in order to make an argument which makes sense based on the facts of a specific case.
When thinking about the best way to persuade someone to come around to your way of thinking, consider leveraging this framework, often referred to as Baker’s Four Strategies of Influence. These four different persuasion methods can be used in a variety of different circumstances, and may in fact be tailored and blended based on what is necessary in the moment to reach your objectives.
The Four Strategies of Influence may be blended and combined to create four different persuasion identities (or personas). Individuals that take on certain persuasion strategies develop into these four personas outlined below:
The Investigator: Investigators blend the push style and the logic approach to persuasion. These individuals actively attempt to persuade those around them through logical and very well-outlined arguments, sometimes aggressively. These individuals back up all their arguments with specific data points or examples. They feel that the more pieces of evidence they provide, the harder it will be for other individuals to argue their point.
The Calculator: Calculators bring together a pull style with the logical approach. These individuals are less assertive than their Investigator counterparts. Rather than confronting others about the incorrectness of their approach, Calculators argue their points by highlighting the strong parts of their arguments and calling out the weak points of their opponent’s argument. They also rely heavily on data and concrete proof of the correctness of their argument.
The Motivator: Motivators combine a push style with an emotional approach to persuade individuals. These persuasive types act like motivational speakers and use a long-term vision to inspire individuals to believe in their causes. They often try to persuade others of the utility of a concept by appealing to the emotions or sentimental values that are important to an individual.
The Collaborator: Collaborators bring together a pull style with an emotional approach. These individuals persuade others by including them in the decision-making process and asking for continuous feedback. Collaborators also bring emotions to bare to draw out the individual’s feelings to show them how they are invested in the outcome.
Most leaders tend to lean on one persuasion strategy which has worked for them, but by becoming aware of the multiple styles of persuasion that influence decision making and change in various situations, true leaders will be able to better tailor their messages to their audience.
In order to support leaders that want to drive better decision making, we developed the Strategies of Influence template to help understand how leaders within an organization most effectively engage with their stakeholders.
Still want to learn more? Check out Praxie’s Strategies of Online Influence template in the cloud.