So what are influencing styles?
There are many different styles that we use every day and the simplest way to breaking this down is to break it into 'push' and 'pull' styles.
A 'push style' is a simple way of working with people to guide other people into making changes. It might include giving out information, putting forward proposals. It can also be very directive which can close down the input of others.
The background to the push style is that people are influenced by arguments that have a great deal of evidence behind them and the quality of information provides the influence as it can be convincing. A push style can be said to move or force someone to change rather than motivating them to want to change themselves. It means that you get others to comply with what you want but it may not be such a commitment so you are not so worried about whether the influence you use is long lasting or not. The positives of the push style means that this style works when there is a high level of mutual trust and understanding.
So as a coach I might use appropriate challenge in a session once trust and a relationship has been established. If goal setting and following up on action it might be said that a more directive 'push style' is needed. Another example might be if someone has not paid an invoice then you may use more of a push style. This style works when the other party recognises the legitimacy of your power base. The power base can come from the position you are in as well as from knowledge or the ability to control.
The 'pull style' on the other hand is an influencing style to motivate the other person to want to change. It could involve reflecting the possibilities from change or giving a rationale against making a change. If not sincere pull styles can be seen as manipulative.
They can be effective in gaining commitment but it make take longer than the push style to achieve results. Behaviours linked to the pull style may include seeking information, testing understanding and building on past experience and understanding. The idea behind the pull style is that people are influenced more readily by linking to aspirations, needs and motives. Key to this style is a knowledge of how to use effective questioning to seek understanding and build on ideas and proposals. In coaching the use of reflective questions and active listening and reframing would be more of a pull style. As a small business you may use this style to find out more about your client and how you could help them. If you think about networking in business then the pull style is used a great deal when you ask how you can collaborate and help. In using this style you either have less of a power base than the example of the push style or you do not wish to use your power base. Often the push style is used to have influence with longer lasting effects.
There is evidence to suggest that the push style has the benefits of influencing in an immediate way but the pull style has more potential for use over a longer period of time and change is much more likely to have a longer lasting effect. It involves more thought beforehand and a greater understanding of the other person's perspective.
It is useful to have a think about what style you use when:
-Selling your product
-Parenting your children
-Giving a talk or presentation
If you are interested in exploring this further then I offer 1:1 leadership coaching in this area and also have a 2.5 hour masterclass at The Coaching Room, Flax Bourton, Bristol BS481UE. Masterclasses are available to book on my website or eventbrite. If you wish to have a chat about a corporate rate for your business or to find out more please phone on 07811 740580 or email me at email@example.com.Look forward to seeing you! I have also been asked to bring this to people's place of work so please get in touch for a corporate rate.
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