Strategies for Influencing 


Push Style Pull Style Approach
investigation calculation Logical
motivation collaboration Emotional

There are two styles of influence, eg push and pull. "Push" is a direct assertive way of getting your point across; "pull" is an indirect subtle way to persuade others.  Both are highly effective in the right circumstances. There are 2 ways of persuading, ie with logic or emotion. Logic is using facts and rational argument to make the case; while emotion is about targeting the heart to get your way. This has created 4 types of strategies, eg investigation, calculation, motivation and collaboration.

- investigation (collect facts and figures so able to advance arguments; very methodical and use logic to persuade, eg former US vice president and environmental activist Al Gore who used many statistics and data as a basis for his argument in support of climate change)

- calculation (promote the positive of a proposal and highlight the weaknesses of alternatives; use logic to advance their cause and are good debaters like previous UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher)

- motivation (use emotions to influence; involves understanding the big picture with a compelling vision of the future; good with words and can explain a simple and compelling vision, eg civil rights activist Dr Martin Luther King)

- collaboration (use emotions but persuade others by involving them in the decision; great team builders; engage people's hearts and minds, eg religious charity leader Mother Teresa)

NB which strategy is the most effective depends on the situation, eg right time, in the right way, with the right people, for the right course. You need to be flexible and adaptable to be a great influence

(sources: Robert Cialdini, 2001; Robert Cialdini, 2004; Rachel Lebihan, 2009 ; David Rock, 2009 ; Noah J Goldstein et al, 2007)


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