Employees’ advancement in organizations is based on preventing problems before they develop, and pre-emptively uncovering opportunities to add value, according to Stanford’s David Bradford and Allan R. Cohen of Babson College in Influencing Up.
Complementing their Influence without Authority, they distilled common-sense win-win approaches to influence those over whom one has no formal authority or control: one’s manager and others higher in the hierarchy.
Organizational power discrepancies can be accentuated when the employee is female or a member of a minority group.
Cohen and Bradford’s suggest six elements to reduce power differences, and improve influence and negotiation outcomes:
- Clarify needs and priorities
- Consider others as potential partners rather than adversaries
- Establish trustworthiness by sharing information and develop understanding of the other’s perspective, concerns, and “care-abouts” — empathy in a business setting
- Determine reciprocal value exchange in “currencies” that matter to others: information, budget, removing obstacles, brokering agreements, support
- Gain access to others by showcasing your potential value exchange
- Negotiate a win-win outcome
Bradford and Cohen’s work complements influential research by Stanford colleagues Margaret Neale and Deborah Gruenberg, as well as Robert Cialdini’s classic investigation of influence.
Their emphasis on crafting a win-win negotiated outcome echoes earlier work by Roger Fisher and William Ury in Getting to Yes and Linda Babcock’s consideration of negotiation challenges faced by women and minority group members in the workplace.
-*How do you manage the Power Sandwich, requiring skillful 360 degree influence in your organization?
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- Three Factors Affecting Women in Corporate Leadership
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- Female and Minority Supervisor Influence
- Organizational Hierarchies are Easier to Understand, Remember, Manage – Especially those Lead by Men…
Blog: – Kathryn Welds | Curated Research and Commentary
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