ENGAGE. POSITION. INFLUENCE. CONVERT.
Results for the "How Persuasive Are You?" Quiz*
YOUR SCORE INTERPRETATION
You have a limited ability to influence different people in different situations. This will increasingly become a problem over time, as workplace hierarchies become flatter and cooperation and collaboration with different teams and cultures become more common.
You may assume that, because you are their manager, you will automatically be able to influence your team members. However, being a manager doesn't mean that your people will automatically want to follow you. Be careful not to rely too much on facts and data – you’ll have to convince people's hearts as well as their minds.
There are strategies that will allow you to do this.
You are able to adapt the way that you influence others, but there is plenty of room for improvement. Perhaps you need to work on how you use facts and figures to produce a convincing argument, or you may have trouble debating and thinking on your feet.
Have a good look through your answers and pinpoint where you scored lowest. You may need to strengthen one area or a few.
Well done! You are a strong influencer who can use more than one way to convince colleagues of your plan's strengths. You can use both logic and emotion; you work with others and communicate well, and you demonstrate both the positive aspects of your plan and the negative aspects of the alternatives.
Check your results to see where you may have picked up a low score, and then look at our tools and strategies to see how you can become even more influential.
Additional Information About Your Results
This simple (non-validated) assessment is based on Dr. Tim Baker's Four Strategies of Influence.
Different strategies work with different people in different situations, so there's no one perfect way to influence everybody all of the time. Your results will help you understand which strategies you are already competent in, and those you may have to work on so that you can become a more rounded influencer.
Learn more about these strategies and hear how you can access Baker's own assessment of influencing styles in his book. The four strategies are summed up below in the personas of the Investigator, the Calculator, the Motivator, and the Collaborator.
(Refer to your responses to Questions 2, 3, 6, 10, 11, 15)
"Investigators" draw on facts and figures to support a logical and methodical approach. To become adept at this style of influencing, it's important to feel comfortable handling data, finding information that supports your strategy, and then using it to form a convincing argument.
Information Gathering is the first step. Effective influencers collect two main types of information: background data, which informs their view of the world, and task-related data, which is gathered for a specific purpose. One type alone won't work!
Once you have the information that you need, the Ladder of Abstraction is a handy tool to help you to weave it all into an appealing argument. This model explains how using tangible facts and hard data alongside more abstract, visionary ideas allows you to communicate more effectively.
Be sure not to deluge people with every possible piece of evidence when you're trying to be persuasive, or they'll stop listening. Chunking is an effective technique for grouping and delivering information in a way that ensures people can remember it.
Similarly, you might become overwhelmed by trying to gather enough data to argue your case. Learn to avoid information overload, and you'll be both more efficient and more influential.
Beware of collecting data simply to support a case that you intuitively believe in, otherwise, you'll likely introduce bias and lay yourself open to mistrust and embarrassment. Your proposal will more likely stand up to scrutiny if it flows from the data available – and you'll have nothing to hide!
(Refer to your responses to Questions 7, 13, 14)
"Calculators" tend to use logic to influence and will likely be good debaters. Fortunately, this doesn't mean that you have to demolish your opponent to win!
This style depends on giving time and effort to in-depth analysis and the creation of a well-structured argument. Skills associated with this approach include the ability to weigh options, the capacity to provide feedback, and an understanding of when to offer concessions.
So take a look at our article on Cost-Benefit Analysis to help you measure the pros and cons of your case. Then employ the ancient art of rhetoric to present your argument convincingly.
Stick to the facts so that you keep your credibility, but remember to contrast your proposal's benefits with the risks of inaction in a way that your listeners can relate to. Listen to our Expert Interview with Annette Simmons, Whoever Tells the Best Story Wins, to discover more about how you can do this.
(Refer to your responses to Questions 5, 12, 16)
In contrast, "Motivators" use emotion and the "big picture" to communicate compelling visions of the future. While some people seem to be natural motivators, there are some simple lessons that can teach any of us to influence through motivation.
You can add structure to your enthusiasm, and maximize the impact of any presentation you have to give, by using Monroe's Motivated Sequence. This five-step plan will help you to gain your audience's attention, and leave members with specific actions that they can take afterward. This allows your influence to continue beyond the presentation itself.
We might feel that we lack the natural charisma to be a Motivator but it's a trait that can be developed so that you're more engaging, likable, and inspiring. Concentrate on your body language, help others to feel good, and show empathy, assertiveness, and confidence.
(Refer to your responses to Questions 1, 4, 8, 9)
"Collaborators" use motivation, too, but they persuade people by involving them in the decision.
According to Baker's model, influence by collaboration is about building bonds and developing trust between team members. This helps people to own the process of change for themselves. In these circumstances, your role is to be a facilitator rather than trying to convince team members logically.
To be a collaborator, you'll likely need: the ability to share power, the capacity to listen actively, and a willingness to communicate openly - see the video on The Johari Window for some ideas about this. Explore other approaches to gain the trust of your team then look at our group decision-making tools, such as The Modified Borda Count, for fair and objective ways of reaching a consensus.
The Cohen-Bradford Influence Model helps build collaboration with others. It is based on the law of reciprocity, which says that, if you do a good turn for someone, he or she will return the favor.
The modern workplace is changing, and holding a senior position within an organization no longer automatically means that you can influence your team members. Flatter workforce structures mean that we often have to convince both bosses and colleagues of the merits of our strategy or idea. This means that we need a range of influencing tactics at our disposal, to ensure that we are comfortable influencing different people at different times and in different situations.