Influence tactics can be used to affect the behavioral patterns of the subordinates, coworkers, and bosses. Pressure, ingratiation, coalition, consultation, upward appeals, exchange, and rational persuasion are among the most frequently used ones (Nelson & Campbell Quick, 2016). The efficiency of the tactics varies depending on the circumstances, personality type, and the nature of the interpersonal relationships. This paper aims to define these techniques and suggest possible applications for those in different real-life situations at work.
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One can use ingratiation to influence others’ perceptions of them. This tactic is beneficial in the long-term, as it helps to build cooperative relations and increases task commitment (Lee et al., 2016). I found this method to work perfectly in combination with consultation and exchange tactics, which also tend to have a positive impact on task-oriented outcomes and relations (Lee et al., 2016). When I started working at a telecommunications company, I did not have much experience, and I did not hesitate to ask my colleagues for their opinion often. Once I promised my coworker to get her a ticket for the sold-out concert of her favorite band, so she stayed overtime to help me with my responsibilities. Overall, I learned a lot from my colleagues in the Finance department, and I made sure they knew how much I appreciated their work. As a result, when I work with Finance, they are always eager to give me a piece of advice and help me achieve my goals.
Rational persuasion tactic relies on facts and logical assumptions to persuade the target audience. It is usually considered the most effective technique in the organizational environment (Lee et al., 2016). I would resort to this tactic if I wanted to persuade the company’s management to review the contracts with the studios based on the performance of their content. I would use financial and traffic reports to support my opinion with hard evidence.
One can use pressure tactic to force others into doing something through the use of demands, threats, and excessive control. It is usually considered the least efficient of all techniques (Nelson & Campbell Quick, 2016). As a Contract Administrator for a telecommunication company, I usually do not have opportunities to use this tactic in my work. Moreover, I would abstain from applying pressure even if I had a chance to use it. Besides being inefficient, this tactic can seriously harm interpersonal relationships within the organization.
Coalition tactic is normally used to persuade others using peer pressure or support. It is a hard-influence technique with relatively low efficiency, similar to pressure (Lee et al., 2016). Clarke et al. (2019) note that coalition tends to impact job-performance ratings negatively. I could use this tactic to persuade management to dissolve a partnership agreement with one of the studios if I believed it was not profitable. If Finance and Programming, Traffic, and Operations departments supported my case, the stakeholders would be more inclined to consider this proposal.
Upward appeals are used to alter colleagues’ decisions or behavior through an appeal to a higher authority. This tactic has a negative influence on interpersonal relationships and mutual respect between coworkers (Clarke et al., 2019). When I struggle to persuade our IT team to speed up system updates, I can mention that I merely need them to meet the company management’s deadlines. However, I rarely resort to using this tactic, as I know that it can significantly harm my workplace relationships.
When choosing which influence tactic to use, one should always carefully consider the long-term consequences of their decision. Some tactics, such as pressure or upward appeal, might improve the results in the short term but have a negative impact on the behavior and attitude of the subordinates and colleagues in the long term. Other tactics, such as ingratiation and consultation, are not only useful in improving task-oriented outcomes but also have a positive influence on the interpersonal relationships within the organization.
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Clarke, N., Alshenalfi, N., & Garavan, T. (2019). Upward influence tactics and their effects on job performance ratings and flexible working arrangements: The mediating roles of mutual recognition respect and mutual appraisal respect. Human Resource Management, 58(4), 397-416. Web.
Lee, S., Han, S., Cheong, M., Kim, S. L, & Yun, S. (2017). How do I get my way? A meta-analytic review of research on influence tactics. The Leadership Quarterly, 28(1), 210-228. Web.
Nelson, D., & Campbell Quick, J. (2012). ORGB. Boston, Cengage Learning.