Influence and effectively utilizing it to achieve success as a leader is a tricky thing. Nick Morgan from the Harvard Business Review did a great job breaking down the components of influence in a recent piece. The four aspects of influence, according to Morgan, include positional power, emotion, expertise, and nonverbal signs.
Positional Power is a relatively straightforward component of influence. Positional power affords you the ability to speak more, lead the direction of a meeting or conversation (e.g. selecting a topic). Conversely, expect to talk less if you do wield less positional power.
The second of Morgan’s components, emotion, is the antidote for positional power if you can discover how to properly utilize it. If you are being dominated in a conversation, your passion and zeal for the subject at hand can effectively counteract their power and level the playing field. Morgan offers up the example of how an impassioned performance in a talent show can leave the judges stunned and speechless despite their relative authority.
Emotion, if coupled with the influence’s third component, expertise can prove to be a truly formidable duo. Expertise and the intricate knowledge of a subject goes a long way, but be sure to speak up as even an expert’s voice can be drowned out by the cacophony of opinions.
Morgan’s final component of influence is far more understated than the others. It is the art of nonverbal communication and behavior. We often are completely ignorant of our bodies, our movements, our posture and, and most importantly, how they are portraying our emotions and confidence. Morgan, in his informative book, discusses these subtle power cues and how to effectively master and harness them. If you have been in the presence of someone who has honed these skills and utilizes them adeptly, then you are well aware of powerful they can be.