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Influencing Style Assessment Meaning of Scores


The questionnaire gives an indication of the extent to which you use two different styles of influence in your position as a leader.


Section 1 gives your overall score for the PULL influence style. Section 2 gives your overall score for the PUSH influence style.


Your overall score for each style can be interpreted as follows:

54 -72: Definite use of the style

42 -53: Tendency to use the style

30 - 41: Neither use nor avoidance of the style

18 - 29: Tendency to avoid use of the style

0 - 17: Definite avoidance of the style Influencing Styles



Research over several years into the behavior of effective influencers has revealed two basic types of influencing called PUSH and PULL.


Push Style

The Push style is characterized by extensive use of three types of behavior. The influencer spends 70% or more of their time in these activities:

  • Proposing

  • Giving Information

  • Blocking/Shutting Out


The rationale of the Push Style is that people are influenced by convincing proposals which are well supported. The keys to successful use of the Push Style are:

  • Quality of the proposals

  • Information provided

  • Ability to get those proposals heard by shutting others out


The Push Style tends to be most effective under one or more of these conditions:

  1. The recipient (client, prospect, decision maker) has little experience or understanding of the issue and recognizes the need for help or guidance.

  2. There is no vested interest in the status quo and the recipient does not feel threatened by accepting the proposal.

  3. The recipient recognizes the legitimacy of the influencer's power base (e.g. expert, position, physical).

  4. The recipient trusts the influencer's motives.

Pull Style

The Pull Style is characterized by concentration upon three different behaviors. The influencer spends 35% or more of their time in these activities:


  • Testing Understanding

  • Seeking Information

  • Building


The rationale of the Pull Style is that people are influenced more readily by uncovering their needs, motives, aspirations and concerns. The keys to effective use of the Pull Style are: the quality of questions used to test understanding and to seek information, and the ability to build upon ideas and proposals.


The Pull Style tends to be effective in most situations, but is particularly useful under these conditions:


  1. The recipient of the influence attempt has strong opinions and views.

  2. The recipient has a vested interest in the status quo and could have difficulty in accepting the influencer's proposals.

  3. It is unknown what the recipient will find acceptable.

  4. The influencer has no recognized power base, or wishes not to use an established power base.

  5. It is important that the influence attempt has a long-lasting effect i.e. the influencer wishes to obtain more than compliance from the recipient.

  6. The relationship between the two parties is new or there is a history of mistrust.

  7. Previous attempts using a Push Style have failed.



Evidence suggests that when Push and Pull Styles are mixed during an influence attempt the result is a decrease in effectiveness. The two styles appear to cancel each other out. It is therefore important to consciously choose a particular style before attempting to influence another and to stick to that style throughout the meeting. It is, of course, possible for an influencer to use a different style with the same recipient on another occasion or after a short break in the presentation. Sometimes the two styles can be used together if a pair of influencers, acting as a team, each employ one of the styles.

The Executive Influence Excelerator® Program enhances the Push and Pull influencing styles leaders in your organization may already show a preference for. Book a call with Donn to see how this program can elevate leaders and can better achieve your organization's strategic objectives.

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