Influence in the Workplace: Assertive Behavior Has the Greatest Impact

Posted by HRDQ on 11/13/2018 to Interpersonal Skills

How Your Influence Behavior Makes a Difference

Having the ability to use influence is a great asset in the workplace. It can help resolve issues, negotiate complex deals, and lead project teams. There are several different styles of interpersonal influence (like openly aggressive behavior, concealed aggressive behavior, passive behavior, and assertive behavior) and it can be a learned skill.

Influence style has become more important in recent years as companies have become more diverse. The focus has shifted from competition to collaboration, and the skills needed to function effectively have moved from control to influence. Human relations and communication skills have become more essential than ever. Knowing one’s own influence style will allow them to navigate work environments where making an impression is most crucial.

Interpersonal Influence Model

Behaviors that produce influence styles are the basis of the Interpersonal Influence Model. When one attempts to influence another, two dimensions of behavior produce an influence style.  These dimensions of behavior are “openness in communication” and “consideration for others.”

Openness is a person’s willingness to disclose to another their own thoughts, feelings, past experiences, and reactions. People are willing to disclose information about themselves to varying degrees – some people are closed off, while others are open.

Consideration means a person’s willingness to accord to others the same rights he or she expects for him- or herself.  At one extreme are people who have very little respect for the opinions and rights of others, while at the other there are people who defend the rights of others.

The amount of openness and consideration that people have determines the influence style that they use.

The Most Impactful Influence Behavior

Research shows that assertive behavior has the greatest impact on individual success and organizational performance. The direct expression of one’s views, along with consideration for others, can help improve individual and organizational functioning.

Assertive behavior is accompanied by thoughts of self-confidence and a belief that all individuals have rights. People who are assertive believe that their desires should not be at the expense of others. They are willing to be an advocate for others in the workplace, and they tend to have the most impact. They are clear communicators and they drive projects forward. Developing into this influence style is essential for anyone who wants to be a leader in the workplace.

Improving One’s Influence

HRDQ’s ‘Interpersonal Influence Inventory’ can help with improving influencing skills. It’s a combination self-assessment and training workshop that has helped thousands of people identify their interpersonal influence style, learn how they come across to others, and work toward becoming more effective communicators. Learn more about the product here:

To learn more about influence, attend HRDQ’s “How Does Your Personality Style Come Across to Others?” webinar on Dec. 17, 2018. Participants will learn how to identify personal influence style, four common influence styles and how each relates to one’s ability to influence others, why assertive behavior is the influence style that always yields positive results, and how some influence styles can hamper interpersonal communication. Click here to register: