Are you influencing people or just manipulating?15 Oct 2014
Power can go straight to the head. Being employed in a leadership position may turn some workers into tyrannical overlords while others are content with leading by example.
Influencing people is vital for when you need an employee to complete a task or improve their performance. However, there is a fine line between influence and manipulation.
So, how do you ensure the techniques you are using to get your way are part of genuine influencing and not something more sinister?
Knowing the difference between the two can help you avoid negative feelings and resentment. Here are three questions you should ask yourself to decide whether you are an influencer or manipulator:
Am I being dishonest?
One of the key indicators of manipulation is the disguise. If you find yourself having to be clever, dishonest or devious to get your way, you’re likely being manipulative.
Instead, you should be straightforward with your team. Influence is about empowering other people to achieve the goals you set.
Is the result mutually beneficial?
When driving an employee towards an objective, is the end goal something that will benefit you both? If you are the only person who will receive positive results from the situation, the employee could be feeling forced down an unforgiving path.
Make sure your objectives are mutually beneficial, as the promise of a rewarding conclusion is one of the easiest ways to influence people towards the right goals.
Have I taken their perspective into account?
While you may believe that your path is the best possible scenario, your employee could have different ideas. Remember to take their views into account to avoid pressuring them into doing something they are not comfortable with.
Influencing people should be about inspiring and motivating them to work towards positive goals. With good influencing skills training under your belt you should be able to encourage your team to head in the right direction with minimal prompting.