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Have a look at this picture. What do you see? Now show it to your colleague. What do they see? Do you both see different things?


Imagine influencing in this instance if you wanted to paint the pillars and your colleague can only see people? How difficult would it be to get them to agree to paint pillars they cannot see?

This can often be what is happening when you are struggling to influence people at work and at home to do what you think is important? They just see different things or things differently, so we need to help them see what we see so that we can move forward together.

Here are some things to help you:-

Approaches to Influencing

We can use a Push or a Pull approach to influence.

Push Pull
Pushing the person or the situation to your viewpoint Pulling people with you
Forcing your views Gains a deeper commitment from the other person
May be blunt and direct They feel good about the outcome
Can save time Can take longer


Both styles have a place in our lives. For example, if there is a health and safety risk the push style would work well but if you are influencing change over a long time period a pull approach may sustain the change longer.

Why would anyone be influenced by me?

We all have power levers (French & Raven, 1960) we just don’t always realise it. Here are some power levers for you to consider if you have them. Still not sure? Drop us an email at and we will help you explore yours.

Power Levers

Organisation Power

Coercive power

Legitimate/Position power

Reward power

Resource power

Personal Power

Expert power

Personality power

Social power

Knowledge Power

Network power

Information power


But how do I decide what to influence?

Steve Jobs, 2011 gave us the The Circle of Concern to help us focus on what have control over and not waste energy on the things we haven’t. To use this tool, make a list of all the things that concern you, now place them into the circles on our worksheet.

The circle of influence should contain the things that you can influence, and the circle of concern should contain the things that worry you, but you have no control over.

 Click here for circle of concern.  

Want to explore more – why not sign up for our one-day Influencing and persuading course on 12th March 2020 or 22nd April 2020?

Contact for more information.

Published 12th February 2020

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