Office Influence: Get What You Want, From the Mailroom to the Boardroom by Eric Bloom is the perfect book for anyone in the workforce, from an entry-level position to the CEO, who wants more influence and overall opinion on their business. worked. As Bloom says in the introduction, “Every interpersonal effort includes an aspect of influence. In negotiation, you are influencing someone to move closer to your point of view. In change management, you are influencing someone to do something different.” In conflict resolution, you are influencing people or organizations to solve their problems and get along.
Bloom knows how important influence is, especially having the right kind of positive influence. He knows this because he has spent years designing and teaching classes on various types of interpersonal communication, including negotiation, managing change, conflict, leadership, difficult conversations, motivation, seeking approval, and delegation. For all of these activities to be effective, trusting relationships must be established with the people you are working with, and in these pages Bloom will show you how that trust can be achieved so that people are willing to listen, respect and when necessary necessary. , follow you. One of my favorite statements Bloom makes is “Generally speaking, people aren’t against you, they’re for them. Understand their reasoning and you’ll be able to find strategies to win their support.” In other words, put yourself in their shoes to understand where they come from. You can then win them over to find benefits for both of you.
Office Influence is divided into three sections: Influence Key Concepts, Influence Power Qualification, and Using Influence to Your Advantage. In addition to drawing on his personal research, observations, and experiences, Bloom also incorporates research from the giants of influence research: Robert B. Cialdini, Allan R. Cohen, and David L. Bradford. Cialdini, the author of Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, inspired Bloom to learn more about influence and eventually do his own influence-related research. He devotes a chapter to Cialdini’s six ways to influence others. He also includes and comments on one of the most important influence quotes ever written by Cohen and Bradford: “Influence is possible when you have what others want.” Bloom says that one of the most important lessons he learned from Cohen and Bradford is that “influencing others is not about what I want or need, it’s about identifying and providing what they want or need so they follow my vision.” .
Throughout the book, numerous examples are given of how you can influence others. Some of these are simple and some are less than stellar, like a form of location influence where the boss makes his chair higher than everyone else’s or sits in front of a window, causing the someone else look down. avoid icing. This submissive body language can slightly change the person’s thought process and sense of power in the situation. This may not be the most ethical way to gain influence, but people have done it. Bloom has no problem stating when certain kinds of influence are unethical and should be avoided.
Another more positive example is starting meetings on time. So people will be influenced to be on time because they will feel uncomfortable joining a meeting that has already started. Meetings on time also influence people to turn in their work on time because you have a reputation for being punctual and can make people more likely to come to the meeting because when you start on time, the meeting is more likely to end before.
Another positive form of influence is to pay your suppliers quickly. The faster you pay them, the more likely they are to prioritize your work, giving you an advantage over those who may not pay for thirty or sixty days.
One of the most important and fun aspects of the book is that Bloom provides exercises for determining your own Influence Power Rating (IPR). He explains that your IPR is “a calculation based on seventy-four personal and business-related attributes and their effect on the influence of your workplace, combined with your current situational awareness of the topic being discussed and their relationship with the person (or people) you are trying to influence. It then walks readers through calculating this, which will result in being able to see where you are influential and where you may want to work on your levels of influence.
The third and final section, “Using Influence to Your Advantage,” provides instructions on how you can apply the various concepts, techniques, and tips discussed in Parts 1 and 2 to enhance your success in the workplace. Many of these are simple tactics that you may never have considered but can be very effective; for example, when someone introduces you in a meeting, you should stand where they stood so that you are in a position of power. Another that I personally love is the power of remaining calm in times of conflict. Says Bloom, “When discussions get heated, people naturally turn to the person who can show calming strength and conviction. If that person is you, when the negotiation gets tense, you can be the voice of reason, civility and professional decorum. When people turn to you, you can influence the actions of the players and the direction of the discussion, which, of course, is towards your interests.”
As I said at the beginning, anyone in the workforce will find plenty of ammunition in this book to become a more influential player in their organization simply by practicing the tips and techniques in these pages. Your reinforcement of the need to use positive forms of influence and how you can do so will ultimately not only benefit you, but also your co-workers and the organization, creating win-win situations.