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Influence and Persuasion (HBR Emotional Intelligence Series)

Influence and Persuasion (HBR Emotional Intelligence Series)

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Influence and Persuasion (HBR Emotional Intelligence Series)

4.5/5 (15 ratings)
83 pages
1 hour
Nov 14, 2017


Changing hearts is an important part of changing minds. Research shows that appealing to human emotion can help you make your case and build your authority as a leader.

This book highlights that research and shows you how to act on it, presenting both comprehensive frameworks for developing influence and small, simple tactics you can use to convince others every day.

This volume includes the work of:

  • Nick Morgan
  • Robert Cialdini
  • Linda A. Hill
  • Nancy Duarte

This collection of articles includes "Understand the Four Components of Influence," by Nick Morgan; "Harnessing the Science of Persuasion," by Robert Cialdini; "Three Things Managers Should Be Doing Every Day," by Linda A. Hill and Kent Lineback; "Learning Charisma," by John Antonakis, Marika Fenley, and Sue Liechti; "To Win People Over, Speak to Their Wants and Needs," by Nancy Duarte; "Storytelling That Moves People," an interview with Robert McKee by Bronwyn Fryer; "The Surprising Persuasiveness of a Sticky Note," by Kevin Hogan; and "When to Sell with Facts and Figures, and When to Appeal to Emotions," by Michael D. Harris.

How to be human at work. The HBR Emotional Intelligence Series features smart, essential reading on the human side of professional life from the pages of Harvard Business Review. Each book in the series offers proven research showing how our emotions impact our work lives, practical advice for managing difficult people and situations, and inspiring essays on what it means to tend to our emotional well-being at work. Uplifting and practical, these books describe the social skills that are critical for ambitious professionals to master.

Nov 14, 2017

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Influence and Persuasion (HBR Emotional Intelligence Series) - Harvard Business Review



Understand the Four Components of Influence

By Nick Morgan

We’ve all encountered people who say less but what they say matters more; people who know how to use silence to dominate an exchange. So having influence means more than just doing all the talking; it’s about taking charge and understanding the roles that positional power, emotion, expertise, and nonverbal signals play. These four aspects of influence are essential to master if you want to succeed as a leader.

Take positional power. If you have it, influence becomes a relatively simple proposition. People with power over others tend to talk more, to interrupt more, and to guide the conversation more, by picking the topics, for example.

If you don’t have the positional power in a particular situation, then, expect to talk less, interrupt less, and choose the topics of conversation less. After all, exercising their right to talk more about the subjects they care for is one of the ways that people with positional power demonstrate it.

What do you do if you want to challenge the positional authority? Perhaps you have a product, or an idea, or a company you want to sell, and you have the ear of someone who can buy it. How do you get control in that kind of situation?

The second aspect of influence is emotion, and using it is one way to counteract positional power and generally to dominate a conversation. When the other side has the power and you have the emotion, something closer to parity is possible. Indeed, passion can sweep away authority, when it’s well supported and the speaker is well prepared. We’ve all witnessed that happen when a young unknown performer disarms and woos the judges, devastating the competition, in one of those talent competitions. The purity and power of the emotion in the performance is enough to silence—and enlist—the judges despite their positional authority. Indeed, the impassioned speech, the plea for clemency, the summation to the jury that brings them to tears and wins the case for the defendant—this is the stuff of Hollywood climaxes.

Passion often links with expertise, the third aspect of influence. And indeed, you can dominate the conversation, beating out positional power, if you have both passion and expertise. The diffident expert’s voice is sometimes lost in the clamor of people wanting to be heard. So expertise without passion is not always effective, but if it’s patient, it can be the last person standing in a debate and thereby get its turn.

The final aspect of influence is the subtlest of the four and as such rarely can trump either positional authority or passion. But in rare instances, artfully manipulated, I have seen it prevail. What is it? It is the mastery of the dance of human

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  • (5/5)
    Great read interesting, the rationale and arguments brought are really applicable to situations of everyday life.
  • (4/5)
    The book had a lot of good tips on how to become more persuasive. I think the best articles were at the latter end of the of the book. It was about the storytelling as a tool to help you become more persuasive.
  • (5/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    It is a nice book with many ideas
    It will set you on the right path to explore and learn further. This like a road map. I liked the charismatic leadership techniques and the story telling the first two articles were nice too

    1 person found this helpful