Influence Without Authority: Do You Have It?

work and influence Lisa Harvey Roach Consultant
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Influence without authority is a skill everyone can use!

Whether you are in business for yourself or have the title of  Project Manager, your goal is to always complete your projects on time, under budget, and to the right specifications. Oftentimes, the challenge is  how to do this with people you have no authority over! The answer is to learn the art of influence without authority.

In the book “Influence without Authority”- second edition, by Allan R. Cohen and David L. Bradford, the authors state three things you can do to get things done:

  1. Build Trust/Credibility
  2. Provide Suggestions for Solutions
  3. Improve Other’s Perception of You

Lessons Learned

Now let’s look at each one with some lessons I have learned that will more than likely help you

  • Build Trust/Credibility
  1. Lead by example, do what you say you will do. People trust people who keep their word. When you are seen as someone with good character, you will have a better chance of influencing others.
  2. Communicate openly. There are 4 ways you can communicate. You can be passive, passive-aggressive, aggressive, or assertive. which method do you think is the best? It is always better to be assertive. The definition I use for assertive is, standing up for yourself while respecting the rights of others.
  3. Get to know your team members. What makes your team members tick? Do they like public praise or private praise? Are they more introverted or extroverted. What do they do best?
  4. Treat people with respect. Everybody wants respect!
  • Provide Suggestions for Solutions
  1. Be a problem solver, not a whiner.
  2. Innovative problem solving includes: defining the problem, analyzing the problem, brainstorming alternatives, selecting the best solution.
  • Improve Others’ Perception of You
  1. Perception is everything. To find out how you are being perceived, ask a trusted friends or co-workers how you come across in your meetings, presentations, emails, etc.
  2. Ask your employer to conduct a 360-degree review on you. This entails having anonymous surveys completed by people who work above you, below you, and at the same level. The feedback can be invaluable.

By mastering these three key points, you will be able to insure successful projects and keep your hair!



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