The ability to influence others without being in a formal position of authority is a critical job skill for life science professionals. Influence can help secure buy-in and assistance from individuals who may not be a direct report, helping to achieve personal and organizational objectives.
As more organizations transition from traditional hierarchies to cross-functional teams, it’s increasingly important for employees to develop a variety of skills to achieve successful outcomes and affect change. And influencing without authority is one such skill.
Learning to influence without authority is not about achieving self-promotion or personal power; it’s about building trust and collaborative relationships with clients and colleagues.
What are the Skills, Personality Traits, and Characteristics that Build Influence?
Influential people can accomplish their objectives without a formal leadership role. Instead, they rely on skills, personal traits, and other characteristics to motivate others. For some individuals, these traits and characteristics come naturally. And for others, these can be developed.
Understanding the traits and skills that build influence can help in many situations, including working on team projects, interacting with clients and conversing with a manager. Learning to influence without authority is essential to today’s life sciences professionals, who rely on collaboration and innovation to drive organizational success.
What are the Different Principles of Influence?
In CMR’s new eLearning module, Influencing Without Authority, life sciences professionals will learn about two different principles of influence and gain expertise in applying them to meet their objectives.
Cialdini’s Six Principles of Influence
In his book, Influence: Science and Practice, Robert Cialdini identifies the Six Principles of Influence that can help individuals learn to persuade others to adopt a certain viewpoint and/or take a specific action. The following six principles are underlying factors that can cause a person to agree to another person’s request:
- Social proof
- Commitment and consistency
Cohen-Bradford Influence Model
Allen R. Cohen and David L. Bradford developed a model to show how to put Cialdini’s Six Principles of Influence into practice in their book, Influence Without Authority. The Cohen-Bradford Influence Model method, dubbed the law of reciprocity, teaches people to discover what resources are valued by others, gather those resources, and use them to encourage someone to do what you would like.
The six steps this model identifies to influence without authority are:
- Assume all people are potential allies
- Clarify goals and priorities
- Diagnose the world of the other person
- Identify relevant currencies – theirs and yours
- Deal with relationships
- Influence through give and take
Effective Communication and Trust Building
The ability to influence without authority depends on effective communication and gaining trust with clients, peers, and leadership. This new CMR eLearning module gives life sciences professionals a framework to develop effective communication—either in person or written—to help build influence at work. It introduces The Reina Dimensions of Trust and provides a step-by-step guide to achieving trust through actions.
Selecting the Appropriate Tactic to Elicit the Desired Response
The critical aspect of learning to influence without authority is determining the appropriate tactic to use in specific situations. Lastly, this CMR eLearning module will equip learners with the best approaches to choosing the right strategy in all possible situations and also provides tools to overcome resistance in achieving the desired response.
Do you want to learn more about CMR’s Influencing Without Authority module? Click here to chat with one of our training experts.