Influence Style Assessment Results

Interpretation of Scores

This assessment provides an indication to the extent to which you use two different styles of influence on your job.

Part 1 provides an overall score for the PULL influence style.

Part 2 provides an overall score for the PUSH influence style.

Your overall score for each style can be interpreted as follows:

  • 54 - 72: Definite use of that style

  • 42 - 53: Tendency to use that style

  • 30 - 41: Neither uses nor avoids that style

  • 18 - 29: Tendency to avoid that style

  • 0 - 17:    Definite avoidance of that style  

Research over several years into the behavior of effective influencers has revealed two basic types of influencing referred to as PUSH and PULL.

WHAT IS THE PUSH INFLUENCE STYLE?

The Push style is characterized by extensive use of three types of behavior. The influencer spends 70% or more of their time in these activities:

  • Proposing/proposals

  • Giving information

  • Blocking/shutting out

The rationale of the Push style is that people are influenced by convincing proposals which are well supported. The keys to successful use of the Push style are:

  • Quality of the proposals

  • Information provided

  • Ability to get those proposals heard by shutting out others

The Push style tends to be most effective under one or more of these conditions:

  • The recipient has little experience or understanding of the issue and recognizes the need for help or guidance.

  • There is no vested interest in the status quo and the recipient does not feel threatened by accepting the proposal.

  • The recipient recognizes the legitimacy of the influencer's power base (authority positioning as an expert or by title/reputation).

  • The recipient trusts the influencer's motives. 

WHAT IS THE PULL INFLUENCE STYLE?

The Pull style is characterized by concentration upon three different behaviors. The influencer spends 35% or more of their time in these activities:

  • Testing understanding

  • Seeking information

  • Building on ideas

The rationale of the Pull style is that people are influenced more readily by uncovering their needs, motives, aspirations and concerns. The keys to effective use of the Pull style are:

  • Quality of questions used to test understanding and seek information.

  • Ability to build upon ideas and proposals.

The Pull style tends to be effective in most situations, but is particularly useful under these conditions:

  • The recipient of the influence attempt has strong opinions and views

  • The recipient has a vested interest in the status quo and could have difficulty in accepting the influencer's proposals.

  • What the recipient will find acceptable is unknown.

  • The influencer has no recognized power base or wishes not to use an established power base.

  • It's important that the influence attempt has a long-lasting effect; in other words, the influencer wants to get more than compliance from the recipient.

  • The relationship between the two parties is new or there is a history of mistrust.

  • Previous attempts at a Push style have failed. 

Research evidence suggests that when Push and Pull styles are mixed during an influence attempt, the result is a decrease in effectiveness. The two styles appear to cancel each other out. It is therefore important to consciously choose a particular style before attempting to influence another and to stick to that style through the meeting. 

It is of course possible for an influencer to use a different style with the same recipient on another occasion or after an adjournment. Sometimes the two styles can be used together if a pair of influencers, acting as a team, each employ one of the styles. 

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