Influencing Without Authority, or Even With It—4 Key Behaviors

Blanchard LeaderChat

bigstock-Silhouettes-of-people--d-20419778“Example is not the main thing in influencing others, it is the only thing.” ~Albert Schweitzer

A common leadership challenge I hear in our workshops is: “How do I lead when I don’t have authority?”

Even when we do have formal authority, we often need to influence up and across the organization. But should we use our authority to coerce others to do what we want or need them to do? I believe the answer is a resounding no, except in two situations:

  1. In a crisis or emergency—there is no time to influence right now.
  2. As a last resort—when you have tried everything to influence, it isn’t working, and “no” is not an option.

Think about those times when your boss used position power to get you to do something. How did you respond? How did it make you feel?

Having autonomy—a feeling of choice—is critical to motivation. When we…

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