Event Date: 10/25/2019 (2:00 pm EDT - 3:00 pm EDT)
Research shows that assertive behavior improves individual and organizational performance. The ability to influence others is critical to anyone in a leadership or sales role, and enormously useful to just about everybody else. But people aren’t necessarily born with a personality style which is assertive – it’s largely an acquired skill. And that’s good news for trainers.
People are affected by how you act. Be aware of your impact on others. Do your best to have them see you in a positive light. Join Peggy Greenberg for a free webcast that will examine how understanding influence style can set the stage for skill development.
This webinar is sponsored by HRDQ and is based upon research from Interpersonal Influence Inventory, a training program that gives both newly emerging and experienced leaders and managers the tools and techniques for developing and refining their skills. This learning resource will help your organization retain employees and clients, make better decisions, and improve performance. Learn more about Interpersonal Influence Inventory at HRDQ.
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
- How some influence styles can hamper interpersonal communication
Who Should Attend:
- Training and HR professionals
- Independent consultants
- Managers delivering training
President of Peggy Greenberg Training and Consulting. Peggy has over 30 years of experience in staff and organization development. Prior to starting her own business, Peggy was the Director of the Office of Education and Training for the United States Senate. Her office was responsible for the training and development of Senate staff in Washington DC and throughout the country. She has also held Director level positions in large health care systems in Washington, DC and Boston. Since starting her own training and consulting firm, Peggy’s clients have included the Department of Justice, US Senate, Glenridge Healthcare Solutions, CAQH, K12, and the City Of Alexandria to name a few.
What are some tips for influencing a highly aggressive boss?
There is such a strong temptation when dealing with a highly aggressive boss to become Passive.
Employees with a boss who leads this way become hesitant to speak their mind, afraid to upset the relationship, and avoid disagreements. These employees become victimized, resentful, and depressed.
Some employees with a boss who leads this way become Concealed Aggressive. These employees worry about themselves and find subtle ways to get their way. These employees have hidden frustration and are uptight often in a way that their nonverbals show their tension.
But we believe the best way to handle a highly aggressive boss is to stay Assertive.
To stay Assertive, you objectively try to understand the others’ source of emotion. In dealing with this boss you need to stay even-tempered, patient, open, and self-revealing.
We believe strongly in “I” statements. State things from your beliefs, feelings, and concerns. Be clear and concise while you listen actively to their responses. Nonverbally stay relaxed, confident, with good friendly eye contact. Do not let his demeanor get you off your Assertive anchor. You might take the Interpersonal Influence Inventory to see how skilled you are at being Assertive.
Thank you for your question. HRDQ: Better Learning. Better Performance. Better Life.
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Sarah: Hi everybody, and welcome to today’s webinar, How Do You Come Across to Others, hosted by HRDQ-U, and presented by Peggy Greenberg. My name is Sarah and I will moderate today’s webinar. The webinar will last about an hour. If you have any questions, go ahead, you can type them into your questions box in the control panel for GoToWebinar and then we’ll either answer those questions as they come in, we’ll answer them live at the end of the session if we have some time. Otherwise, we will put all unanswered questions up on our blog after the session so you can take a look at it there. Our presenter today is Peggy Greenberg. She’s going to dive in, give us a dynamic session today right away. Thank you so much Peggy for joining us.
Peggy Greenberg: Great. Thank you Sarah. I’m really looking forward to spending this hour with all of you discussing how we come across to others. This is a subject that’s near and dear to my heart. The question really is, do you know how you come across to others? We don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. We’ve all heard that before, and every interaction that we have influences a person in one way or another. In this world of instant soundbites, people jump to conclusions quickly about you, and then unfortunately, they often don’t change their minds.
Peggy Greenberg: Getting to the bottom of how you come across to people is the key to being assertive, influential and confident both at work and at home. I think it’s really the cornerstone to your success. It’s about how you relate to people, how people receive you, and how you get along with others. Sometimes the way people perceive you might be different than the way you perceive yourself. In fact, sometimes your perceptions are radically different than what the other person believes or perceives about you.
Peggy Greenberg: A good example of this is, I teach a two day live facilitation skills course. Ever so often during the two day time period that we’re together, I’d take a one-on-one with the participants to see, how’s it going for you How? How are you applying the information? I had one participant we recently who told me she was uncomfortable. I said, “Well, what’s going on?” She said, “You intimidate me,” and this really opened my eyes. My perception was that I was a very open and caring and understanding moderator, very positive, giving lots of positive feedback, but she said I was intimidating.
Peggy Greenberg: Maybe that was because I was very organized and I have a lot of experience that I was sharing, and I try to get to the bottom line when people are asking a question. I try to figure out exactly what they’re asking. So, even though I didn’t mean to intimidate her, that’s the way she perceived me. So, believing you’re one way while other people perceive you another way can really be detrimental to relationships.
Peggy Greenberg: Now you have to know, or you have to get to know what people think of you. And, remember that most if not all of our actions are designed to influence people in one way or another. If you want to do a reality check on how you influence people, try one of these suggestions. I think they’re really great ones. The first thing is to listen. Listen to what people say about you, particularly when they introduce you. What words do they use? Do they use words like understanding, compassionate, analytical, energetic, go-getter, the nicest person I know, passionate about her work, always gets what they want, kind, intelligent, great listener? Whatever the words are, listen to what people say about you when they introduce you. That’ll give you an idea of how you’re perceived by other people.
Peggy Greenberg: Another way to find out how you’re perceived by other people is to ask them. Get a variety of feedback from people you trust and have relationships with. Your family, your friends, your boss, your coworkers, your colleagues, your manager. If you have a coach, ask your coach. Ask them this question, “When you think of me, what adjectives come to mind?” And, assess your influence style. There are some great tools available to do that and today, we’re going to be talking about one of those tools to see what style you have when you influence others.
Peggy Greenberg: Here’s where we’re headed in the hour that we have together this afternoon. This is our roadmap for today’s session. We’re going to start off talking about why influence is an important skill in today’s world. Then we’re going to define influence style, and particularly learn about the four common influence styles. We’re going to take a real deep dive into each of those four styles and recognize the indicators of each of those styles, and discuss why assertive behavior is the one that yields the most positive results. We’re also going to talk about how some styles can hamper our interpersonal communication.
Peggy Greenberg: And as Sarah said, hopefully there’ll be some time at the end for us to have some questions and answers at the end of today’s session. But, I want to start out by telling you a little bit about me so you know, who is this person and why is she talking to us about influence? First of all, a little bit about my background. I worked as the Director of Training for a variety of healthcare organizations in Boston, Baltimore, and Washington, DC. I was also most recently the Director of the Office of Education and Training for the United States Senate.
Peggy Greenberg: When I left the Senate, I started my own training and consulting business. I serve as an executive coach and a consultant. I conduct training seminars for a variety of organizations, and I’m also an online moderator for business management and communication topics. I think I can safely say that my entire career has been dependent upon my ability to influence others. I do believe it is a core competency for everyone and I assume that since you’re making time out of your what have to be very busy schedules at this time of year to participate in today’s session, you do too.
Peggy Greenberg: I’d like to learn a little bit about you so that I can potentially tailor some of my remarks specifically to you as we go on. We’re going to start off with a quick poll. What I’d like to know is, what is your primary role in your organization? Are you a team member, a specialist or a subject matter expert? Are you a supervisor? Are you a project team or unit manager? Are you in middle management? Or, are you a member of upper management or an executive team? Now, I know not all jobs are here, so just find the one that’s closest to your job. I’m going to give you a minute. If you can answer that poll, make sure you hit submit.
Peggy Greenberg: Okay, it looks like over half of you are team members, specialists or subject experts, great. Then we have some folks that are in management. We have some supervisors, some middle managers, and some upper management. That’s about another 30%. Then we have some project teams and some unit managers. Well, thank you all for that information. Again, it’s really helpful for me to know that. I have another question for you as we; another poll for you. The poll this time is, I believe influence is … Is it innate, or is it learned? What do you think? Is it innate, or is it learned? Make sure you hit submit once you answer that poll question.
Peggy Greenberg: All right, it looks like you all are right on the money here with 70% of you saying that you believe influence is learned and you are absolutely right. Influence is a skill that can be learned. If you look at influence and you have … If you look at influence, certainly in influence there are some personality characteristics. However, and those personality characteristics might help you in the beginning but for the most part, the skills that we have in regard to influence and the ones that we’re going to be talking about are things that can be learned.
Peggy Greenberg: You might ask, “Why bother,” and, “Why is this important? It’s already sounding like maybe this is a little more energy than I’m willing to put out.” First of all, businesses and organizations have changed over the years, I certainly know. I’ve been around the block many, many times, and I’ve certainly seen incredible changes in organizations over the years. Most recently, influence style has become more important, increasingly more important because organizations have become flatter, they’ve become less hierarchical and more diverse, and focus has shifted from competition to collaboration.
Peggy Greenberg: The skills needed to function effectively have shifted from skills of command and control, to skills of influence. According to the research by Cushman and Cahn, the view of people as communicators has also shifted. Historically, people were seen as passive responders when it comes to communication. They were just talked to, or talked at in organizations. Now, they’re more active. Their voices need to be heard, there needs to be more collaboration, and there certainly is much more choice in conveying a message than there was historically.
Peggy Greenberg: In this global atmosphere, negotiation and understanding are crucial skills at all levels and good negotiation skills involve influence. You cannot negotiate with someone, you cannot come out of a negotiation that you feel was successful if you didn’t use influence at all. As Ronald Arnett, who’s an esteemed expert in communication and dialogue said, he said that we have to walk, “The human must walk with his partner in dialogue on a narrow ridge between two extremes.” I ask you just to picture this with me, if you will.
Peggy Greenberg: The two extremes of this narrow ridge are the extreme of refusing to attempt to understand the other’s perspective of a situation. Then the other end of that narrow ridge, the other extreme is forsaking your own ground and blindly following the other’s opinion. Again, it’s a very narrow ridge between those extremes, and obviously, it’s so crucial to our relationship ships. It’s so important that we learn how to navigate that because in any dialogue that human beings …
Peggy Greenberg: It’s important in any dialogue that as human beings, we voice our views, while attempting to simultaneously understand other people’s views. This is really at the core of what effective influencers do in order to have an impact. They voice their views, while attempting to simultaneously understand other’s views. Now, I say that as though it’s just a simple, easy thing that happens all the time and can be done without any thought or any consideration. However, it really does require a lot of thought and a lot of consideration, and that’s what we’re going to be talking about here in a few minutes.
Peggy Greenberg: I want to ask you another question. I’m going to ask you to share this via chat. My question is, how do you see yourself using influence skills? I know that many of you are coming from the realm of being a team member, and then a sizable percentage of you, a third of you are so are coming from management ranks. So, how do you see yourself using influencing skills? Go ahead and type that in for me and I’ll see what … Everybody hopefully has an answer to that. You chose to attend today’s webinar, so how do you see yourself using influencing skills? How do you see yourself using influencing skills?
Sarah: Can you see them coming in Peggy?
Peggy Greenberg: I can’t, I can’t.
Sarah: Not a problem, it happens. Let me summarize. We have a lot of participation today. I’m seeing a lot of improved collaboration and communication. A couple of people have said, just to get my job done, as simple as that. Emotional appeal, building trust, I’m seeing motivating, motivating my team or motivating some even say colleagues, or my boss. That’s definitely a theme. And, productivity I would say, is just getting things in the right direction. Now I’m starting to get even some coaching.
Peggy Greenberg: Okay, all right, definitely coaching. All right, great. Thank you Sarah. Thank you for reading those out for me and thanks to all of you giving that some thought, because there are lots of different ways that we can use influence. There are lots of different ways that we can use influence skills and again, this is one of those things where it’s not limited to use at work. It’s very effective use of applying this to all of our relationships. Not only our work relationships, but our relationships again, with our friends, with our family, with our kids. It’s an important aspect of all parts of our life, and something that I hope you will consider utilizing in different places, not just work.
Peggy Greenberg: Influencing is not about forcing others to accept your point of view. It’s not about continuously nagging people until they agree with you. That’s nagging, that’s not influencing. It’s not about bargaining or giving into someone else’s view, even when you believe they’re wrong. It’s not about giving advice necessarily, although sometimes when we do give advice, I think we are trying to influence someone to take a certain path or to approach a problem in a certain way. It’s not about having the last word and it’s not about having power over people.
Peggy Greenberg: It’s influence, it’s something different than all those other things I’ve just described. Influencing is a skill that we know for a fact can be used to your advantage when it is used correctly. Let’s talk a little bit about how you influence. Oops, let me go back one. Because, how you influence helps you and it helps the people that you work with, and helps your organization. And, the influence style that a person uses affects your feelings, and thoughts, and also other people’s thoughts and feelings towards you, which obviously I think plays into helping the total functioning of your organization.
Peggy Greenberg: A person who is assertive is more likely to achieve goals and get their voice heard than a person who’s not being assertive. The assertive person will also be able to express himself or herself honestly, openly and directly. If a person never expresses their views, as in passive behaviors, there are a lot less likely to achieve their own goals. They’re less likely to have their voice heard. Sometimes, it’s very unfortunate, but sometimes those passive people are the ones who have the best ideas, but they just don’t feel confident in talking about them, or in letting other people know what their ideas are.
Peggy Greenberg: Similarly, people who are aggressive tend to alienate other people, so that’s not good. Assertive behavior usually leads to better feelings in both the individual and others. Also, I think when we’re assertive, when we exercise an assertive influence style, feelings of tension are reduced. If you’re working in a team and a person is assertive, and knows that they can trust you, tensions can be reduced and trust between people on a team can be developed.
Peggy Greenberg: As you behave assertively, the open communication that will always occur enhances organizational feedback, it enhances information flow, because assertive behavior is aimed at maximizing the rights of all parties. It’s very respectful. It’s a win-win situation. I hear what you have to say, and you hear what I have to say. So, influence works or impacts in a number of different ways.
Peggy Greenberg: Let’s talk a little bit before I share with you the various influence styles. Let’s talk a little bit about the factors that shape our influence style, because there are a number of factors that shape our influence style. You’re going to see here that there are two different sides of this diagram. One are the individual factors and the other side are the situational factors that impact, or shape our influence style. I’m going to go over each one of these to show you how they’re going to impact your influence style, because we do learn things at an early age.
Peggy Greenberg: If you look at your past experience for example, you have learned what behaviors lead to positive or negative results. This learning that occurs at this early age is derived from a number of different sources. The first source is the type of learning that occurs when an individual associates their behavior, their feelings with the behavior without really thinking about it. We learn through exhibiting a certain behavior. For example, we exhibit aggression, and then we feel tense about it. Eventually, we’re going to feel that tension before and it will stop us from being aggressive. So, our feelings impact the style that we’re going to use. This is what is known as associated learning.
Peggy Greenberg: The second thing is learning by reinforcement. All behaviors yield a consequence. For example, you see this a lot with children in the grocery stores. They have perhaps a very aggressive style of behavior, and that aggression gets those kids what they want. So, what do they learn? What they’re saying to themselves is, “Okay, if I’m aggressive, if I throw a temper tantrum, or shout, or whatever, I’ll get what I want.” Or, some other kid has to be more assertive to get what they want, and other people have learned that being passive will get them what they want. So, something is learned through consequences.
Peggy Greenberg: The third thing is through modeling. This requires that the individual will look at people in their own environment. People like their parents, their teachers, their coworkers, and they learn what’s acceptable, and not acceptable in how they are treated. That’s how they will learn, so the third that we learn is through modeling.
Peggy Greenberg: The next individual factor our attitudes and beliefs. When we look at attitudes and beliefs, we have to look at beliefs from our culture, it’s very important. Attitudes and beliefs about our fears, if for example, if maybe we fear rejection, or it could be guilt, another attitude or belief that will impact and effect our influence style. We have to make sure that we understand that.
Peggy Greenberg: Then the last one is self confidence on the individual factor. If a person is willing to stand up for his or her rights, they’ll have a lot of self-worth and they’ll feel very comfortable. But, other people don’t feel like that. It depends on our inner self-confidence. That is another individual factor that will influence our influence style.
Peggy Greenberg: The other contributing factors have to do with how we interact with our environment. This is a situational factor, and the first one is rewards in your environment. Your work environment is an environment that will tell you which behaviors you get punished for, and which behaviors you get praised for it. These can come in the form of verbal praise, or acceptance, or increased pay, or maybe a better office space.
Peggy Greenberg: When you look at assertive behaviors in the workplace, sometimes assertive behaviors are not rewarded. It’s better to be passive in organizations. I hear this in organizations that I consult with, some of the employees will say, “You know what, I just show up and do what I have to do. I don’t voice my opinion and I don’t get in trouble.” The organization is actually teaching them in that way, what they need to do. Sometimes in organizations, aggressive behaviors are rewarded. Obviously I’m not recommending that, it’s not good. But when aggressive behaviors are rewarded, that gives everybody in that organization an idea of how you’re expected to behave.
Peggy Greenberg: The second thing is the cost of influence style. Influence style does take time to learn. It takes our time, it takes our energy. We have to figure out what solutions our words will produce, we have to I know how to phrase those words so there’s a cost there. An individual if they’re going to use an influential style, has to be willing and able to spend the time and the energy that it takes to behave assertively. The last one in situation is all the rules and laws that we have in the workplace or society that tell us how to act in a certain way. Those are the factors and as I said, there are many of them that actually shape our influence style.
Peggy Greenberg: So, exactly what are we talking about when we’re talking about influence? What’s the definition of influence? There are a number of different ways to describe this and I’m going to give you one description of what is influence. But before even do that, I want to start off with the dictionary definition of influence. The dictionary definition is, it is the capacity of a person to be a compelling force on, or produce effects on actions, behaviors, and opinions.
Peggy Greenberg: When we talk about influence, what we’re really talking about is, we’re really looking at two different dimensions of behavior. The first one is openness. It’s really about openness in communication. This is my willingness to disclose to another person or to other people my thoughts, my feelings, my past experiences, my reactions. Some people, and I’m sure you’ve met people like this and maybe this describes some of you, some people are very close to the vest and they don’t want to share anything. It takes a long time, or they have to be extremely comfortable with someone, or maybe never are they able to share with other people. And then, other people will be open and share everything. Some people go overboard in that regard to and over share. So, it’s a continuum from I’m very closed, to on I’m very open.
Peggy Greenberg: The next piece of influence is consideration. This is about consideration for other people. This is an individual’s willingness to accord other people the same rights that he or she accords to himself or herself. Again, you’re on the spectrum from where some people think, “It’s my way or the highway, and I’m not going to consider you at all,” and then other people are very considerate of everybody in their environment. They don’t want to step on anybody’s toes or offend anybody.
Peggy Greenberg: Again, depending on your openness and your consideration, one of four paths or influence style emerges. I want you to keep this in mind as we dig deeper into what those four styles are. The influence the model that we’re talking about today is one that is again, it is based on; it has those two dimensions of openness of communication, and consideration for others. Let’s talk about each of these four styles, and then we’re going to look at them even more closely.
Peggy Greenberg: The person with openly aggressive behavior is the person who is very high in openness as you can see from this model. Very high in openness, but very low in considerations for other people. Openly aggressive people are very high in openness of communication, but very low in consideration for others. What this would look like is that this is a person who boldly insists that their rights and needs prevail. It’s all about me in other words.
Peggy Greenberg: Then you have the concealed aggressive behavior, somebody who’s low in openness of communication, and also low in consideration for other people. This is the person who would say something like, “I suddenly subtly make sure that my rights and needs prevail.” Done in a very subtle way, not the same way as the openly aggressive person. Assertive behavior are high in … A person with assertive behavior is high in openness and communication, and also high in consideration for others.
Peggy Greenberg: This person would say something like, “I clearly express that we both have rights, we both have needs, and I listened and I understand.” Then the final one is the passive behavior. This is someone who’s low on openness and high on consideration. They don’t want to step on anybody’s toes and again, they would probably some say something like, “Other’s rights and needs take precedence over mine.”
Peggy Greenberg: Let’s continue to look a little bit more specifically at these styles. As I go through them, I’m going to be talking about a number of things related to each of these styles. I’m going to be talking about the thoughts of that person that that style might have, the emotions they might be feeling, what their verbal behavior is going to sound like and what they’re going to express verbally. Then also, their nonverbal communication, or their nonverbal behavior to. What might you not hear them say, but see them saying by other means like body language, facial expressions, and those types of things.
Peggy Greenberg: There are cultural and situational differences that affect our influence style. We all know I think, that all cultures will respond differently to different behaviors. What may be assertive in one culture could be rude in another culture. Even with gender differences, what might be assertive with one group might be looked at aggressive with another group. We have to be mindful of that, the culture of gender as well. Also, be mindful of the situation that assertive behavior is only possible if I have free choice.
Peggy Greenberg: Quite honestly, some behaviors may be constrained by the situation. Sometimes you just can’t go ahead and say anything. Sometimes you need to know how to be passive as opposed to being assertive in order to get what you want. There very clearly are cultural and situational differences. One thing we know for sure, is that there are no absolutes when it comes to assertion. No one behaves assertively or non-assertively 100% of the time. I think that a person who’s really good at assertive communication and asserting their needs knows when to speak, and when not to speak. Sometimes, as we’ve all learned maybe the hard way as I certainly have, sometimes silence is golden.
Peggy Greenberg: The second thing to keep in mind as we look at these four styles is to interpret the terms with care. These tendencies and behaviors that I’m going to talk about, they’re not ironclad categories, and they’re not personality types. They’re ways of behaving a certain way to influence another person. Keep that in mind as I talk through this, because I’m not trying to box people in and to say that you’re going to see this 100% of the time, or that 100% of the time, because that’s obviously not what’s going to occur.
Peggy Greenberg: Let’s start with the openly aggressive style first. As I said before, the descriptive phrase for openly aggressive behavior is, I boldly insist that my rights and needs prevail, I boldly insist that my rights and needs prevail. The thoughts of someone demonstrating this kind of behavior kind of tends to be hostile. The openly aggressive person believes that they should have rights. They have a very strong need for being in control, extremely difficult time of ever, ever imagining themselves to be wrong and as a result of that, rarely admit to being wrong. And, are very egocentric.
Peggy Greenberg: They worry only about themselves and have a very difficult time thinking about anyone else, or considering how their behavior is impacting other people. Honestly when people are openly aggressive, they’re not afraid of hurting other people. The emotions are, these are people who are fiery. They’re bitter, they’re angry. Those are the emotions that are really fueling openly aggressive behavior on a fairly regular basis.
Peggy Greenberg: What you might hear verbally is a lot of sounds, a lot of loud, vocal sounds. Again, this is someone who might fall into the category quite honestly, of being verbally abusive, using insults, thinking that that’s a way to get at people is to just insult them. Interrupting other people is normal for the openly aggressive behavior. It’s not considered rude to interrupt other people. However, other people see openly aggressive behavior as being rude.
Peggy Greenberg: Non-verbally, again, these are people who try to with their body language and all their non-verbals, demonstrate control. How they stand, how they lean, how they glare or using their hands to finger point or to shake fists at other people would be another part of their nonverbal behavior. Again, not everyone who is demonstrating openly aggressive behaviors necessarily going to have all of these things, but they may have some.
Peggy Greenberg: I’m going to just take a guess because this is what usually happens as we go through this, probably some people are already coming to your mind. Maybe as I was describing that, you were already listing someone’s names, or attaching someone’s name to that particular style. I would be willing to bet that almost all of us at one point in our lives have maybe had to be openly aggressive. Maybe that was us at one point in our lives. Hopefully, it’s not how we communicate on an ongoing basis and influence people on an ongoing basis.
Peggy Greenberg: The question is, does openly aggressive behavior get you what you want? I don’t know, I mean, I would say that for people who demonstrate this type of a behavior and influence style a lot, they might think it does, and perhaps that’s the reinforcement that keeps them going. There are clearly some costs to this type of behavior. It does offend other people, undoubtedly, a lot of people, and it creates a lot of resentment. This isn’t the person that anyone else wants to work with.
Peggy Greenberg: It’s someone that if they’re in a group or in a team, they can literally just snuff out everyone’s creativity by their openly aggressive behavior, especially by the way they might talk to other people and the fact that it is my way or the highway. It’s like, this is the only way it can be. Now, there’s a benefit to this type of behavior. It’s pretty easy to know what these people are thinking because they’re going to be right out there. They don’t hold anything back, so that is a benefit to this particular style, which might not and isn’t present in all of the styles.
Peggy Greenberg: Let’s do a quick little poll here to make sure that you’ve got the gist of the openly aggressive style. Which statement reflects the openly aggressive style? Is it A, I express my anger through various facial expressions or B, I believe you must show strength to command respect? Sarah, we should have a couple more choices on there. Is there another slide? Sarah?
Sarah: You should have C and D.
Peggy Greenberg: Okay, I only okay see two up on the quick poll right now.
Sarah: People are responding to C. I’ll go ahead and read those out, but C should because, I don’t mind asking for help when I feel I need it. And D on this, I have trouble turning down people’s requests.
Peggy Greenberg: Thank you. I’m not seeing that up on the slide that I’m seeing, but I’m glad it’s there.
Sarah: Yeah, that’s odd. I can see people are answering for those, so it is getting filled. It looks like we’re still getting a lot of active responses, so let’s …
Peggy Greenberg: Wait another second there.
Sarah: Yeah. All right, let’s go ahead and share.
Peggy Greenberg: All right, it looks like mostly most of you answered B which is, I believe you must show strength to command respect, and you are absolutely right. That is the desired answer there, it is B. It’s not A, but they will; people who are openly aggressive will use their facial expressions to exhibit their aggression. But, it’s not A because they’re also going to express it verbally as well. That’s why B is the one that is most reflective of the openly aggressive style.
Peggy Greenberg: Let’s move on and talk about the next style on our model, which is concealed aggressive behavior. You’ll remember that the descriptive phrase for concealed aggressive behavior is, I suddenly make sure that my rights and needs prevail. You might be thinking with this person that everything is fine and dandy, but this is the person who’ll show you in one way or another that they’re actually not really happy about that decision and they’re going to sabotage it in some in some way.
Peggy Greenberg: Quite honestly for me, this is the most difficult style to deal with because these are people who are very manipulative. On the surface, they seem like they’re agreeable, or they’re listening, but all of a sudden you’re going to hear a book slam, or a book be thrown on a desk, or a door slam, or some other subtle rude comment. To me, concealed aggressive behavior is a challenge because they believe that they have rights and other people don’t.
Peggy Greenberg: Very much like the previous style, they assume that they’re never wrong, they’re egocentric, and they find subtle ways to get their way. The emotions that they’re experiencing are things like resentment and some hidden frustration. They’re uptight, because maybe they can’t express themselves verbally in terms of what they need. That’s why they might be a little bit uptight.
Peggy Greenberg: The verbal behavior of concealed aggressive is that they do a lot of what I refer to as sniping. They use an indirect expression of insults or threats to other people. Not directly, but indirectly. A lot of murmuring. It’s the person who’s sitting off to the side at the meeting and not offering an idea or suggestion, but kind of having a side conversation. These are people who have a tendency to gossip and to sabotage, very often sabotaging decisions after they’ve been made.
Peggy Greenberg: Non-verbally they again, just look like they’re uptight and under a lot of stress. Forced smile, this kind of piercing eye contact, a very controlled posture might be something that you will see as well. And, there are some real high cost I think, to this concealed aggressive behavior. Other people will pick it out eventually. I don’t think there’s any person who likes to feel manipulated. Once we feel that way, we feel as though we’ve been manipulated by another person, our eagerness and our willingness to work with that individual is greatly diminished.
Peggy Greenberg: These are people that others just consider untrustworthy and in many cases do not want to have a lot to do with them. The sub-benefit is that it can be … These people can be very clever if you can direct them into a positive behavior style, as opposed to the negative concealed aggressive. So, which statement reflects the concealed aggressive influence style? I’m afraid to admit that I don’t know how to do something I’m expected to do? I am able to express my feelings honestly and directly? I like to be in control of every situation? If I don’t agree with my boss, I may find a way to drag my feet quietly on projects he or she wants done? Let’s see what you think. Make sure you hit submit.
Peggy Greenberg: All right, you are very good, you’re absolutely right. The correct answer is D; if I don’t agree, I may find a way to drag my feet. This concealed aggressive style is someone who has had … As a manager all of my career is, in my opinion the most difficult one to manage, the concealed aggressive style.
Peggy Greenberg: Let’s go on and look at passive behaviors. The descriptor here is, other’s rights and needs take precedence over mine. The passive behavior, their thoughts are very self-negative. They view that others have rights, but they don’t think they do necessarily. They tend to be very hesitant to speak up. You might not see their resentment or their built up anger but when they do, they’ll often just blow a gasket. It’s so out of character and everybody else is like, “Oh my gosh, what’s going with that person?”
Peggy Greenberg: These are people who are very conflict averse, avoid disagreements and just afraid to do or say anything that is going to upset any kind of relationship, both work or personal. Emotionally, they might feel very victimized or very depressed because they wish they could speak up, but they never seem to be able to do that. Verbally as you would expect, just a meeker voice, use a lot of qualifiers when they’re speaking, say things like, “What do you think? Do you think it’s right? What do you think I should do?”
Peggy Greenberg: Non-verbally, again, just don’t look like they have a lot of self confidence. Wringing their hands on, not having a very confident posture would be something that we would expect to see in passive behavior, and there are some costs to this. Again, as I mentioned initially, these are people who often have great ideas and information, but just don’t feel confident enough to express it. It’s a cost because they just don’t take responsibility for contributing to the team. That’s a cost, obviously to the team and ultimately to the organization.
Peggy Greenberg: The benefit is, they don’t create any unnecessary conflict at all. That would not be at all what we would expect to see from the past behavior side. So, which statement reflects passive influence? When I’m angry with someone, I shut him or her out? If I have something to say that I think is important, I’m going to interrupt a conversation? I feel guilty when I have to ask others to do their share? Or, I make decisions when I have a reasonable amount of information, even though I might be wrong? Let’s go ahead and launch that poll. Tell quickly what you think about that one.
Peggy Greenberg: All right, most of you came up with C, which is absolutely the correct answer. C is, I feel guilty when I have to ask others to do their share. A number of you mentioned A to, and this is something that I think you’ve probably seen passive people do this, that they just shut people out if they’re angry, they don’t talk about it. So, I would agree with you to, that that’s something you might the passive influence style do, but C is the most common expression of a passive influence style.
Peggy Greenberg: Last but not least of course, we have assertive behavior. The descriptor is, I clearly express that we both have rights and needs. Alberti defined assertiveness many long years ago and said that assertiveness is a behavior that enables a person to act in his or her best interest to stand up for herself or himself without anxiety, and express feelings honestly and comfortably, and exercising their rights without denying the rights of others.
Peggy Greenberg: I think he make some important points about assertive of behavior that I think we all need to be aware of. One is that assertive behavior is a characteristic, assertiveness is a characteristic of the behavior, not the person himself. It’s very person and situation specific and it’s not universal. As I mentioned to you, no one behaves like this 100% of the time. It depends on the situation, and it depends on who you’re dealing with.
Peggy Greenberg: Another thing is that assertiveness has to be viewed in cultural and situational context, as I said before, and also a gender context, where you are and who you’re with. In some cases, it depends on whether or not you have the ability to choose freely how you’re going to act. In some cases you can choose freely, and in other cases you can’t. It really depends on where you are, the organization that you work in for example. You’ve got to take all of those things into consideration when you’re exercising assertive behavior.
Peggy Greenberg: The thoughts of people who are assertive are very self confident. Again, they believe that everyone has rights that should be considered. They objectively try to understand other people and the source of other people’s emotion. Their emotions tend to be very even tempered, very patient. And again, their feelings are directed at behaviors or situations and not at people. That is one of the highest indicators I think of assertiveness, is that I’m directing this at a behavior. Especially if I’m in a management position and I’m correcting someone, I’m correcting the behavior. I’m not criticizing the people, the person, I am criticizing a certain element of their performance. That is a difference in terms of assertive behavior.
Peggy Greenberg: Verbally, assertive behavior sounds very clear and very concise. There’s a lot of first person language, I language instead of you. You’ll hear a lot more I language. People who are assertive art receptive to other people’s viewpoints. They listen actively and they’re receptive. It doesn’t mean I agree with you, it just means I know that you have a right to state your opinion and I’m going to listen to what that opinion is. Non-verbally, a very confident, relaxed posture. Very open and supportive nonverbal behavior. A lot of eye contact, a very important part of being assertive is the use of eye contact.
Peggy Greenberg: Now, there are some cost to even being assertive. It takes time and effort to be assertive and it can be sometimes a challenge to maintain this style in all situations, and you have to take the time to do a situational assessments and figure out, is it right for me to be assertive right now? Is this some place where I can be assertive? But, there are incredible benefits. It encourages collaboration and teamwork. Someone who has assertive behavior as a problem solver, and not a problem creator. It really does expedite the communication process.
Peggy Greenberg: I know from working with teams and consulting with so many teams throughout my career, that when the large number of people on a team exercise assertive influence, there’s an incredible amount of collaboration and teamwork. It all flows together and that’s when you will see the highest level of team performance and the highest level of return on that performance to the organization. There’s a lot to be said for the collaboration and teamwork that comes as a result of assertive influence style.
Peggy Greenberg: So, what do you think? What statement reflects the assertive influence style? Is it A, B, C, or D. All right, great job you guys, you got it. It’s A, I let people know when I disagree with the,. People who are assertive, if they don’t agree with you, again, they will tell you, but it will be an open, it will be an honest and it will be in a caring way, not a put down kind of a way. They want you to understand what their feelings are and they want to hear what your feelings are, and what your opinions are on a particular issue, or on something that you’ve been working on together.
Peggy Greenberg: Here we have again, the influence model summary. Again, it is based on our openness in communication and our consideration for others. The continuation, not the continuation, the continuum for both of those is high to low or low to high with some behaviors being very low in both openness and communication and consideration for others, and others being more mixed. But, openly aggressive, concealed aggressive, assertive behavior, and passive behavior. Obviously, the assertive behavior quadrant when we talk about how we influence, is the one that is going to get the most play. It is going to get the most response, and it is going to get the most positive outcomes.
Peggy Greenberg: A few things we know about the sort of influencers. First of all, people are not born assertive, nor does anyone act assertively 100% of the time. The second thing that we know is that assertiveness results from skills and behaviors that we learn and that we consciously practice over time. The good news is that you can learn to be assertive, you can absolutely learn to be assertive. It’s not something that you were born with, or unlike your personality that was hardwired by the time you were seven, you can become assertiveness if you decide that this is the style that I want to use. This is definitely the style that I want to use to influence people. You can learn how to become assertiveness if you practice, if you learn about it, and you practice.
Peggy Greenberg: The third thing that we know about assertive influencers is that they work towards the win-win. They focus on their communication, and they focus on the consideration for other people. In all communication and certainly in our ability to influence other people, a key ingredients is trust. We need to all work on constantly building and sustaining trust in all of our relationships.
Peggy Greenberg: If I don’t trust your character and competence, it is highly doubtful that you’re going to be able to influence me. As Edward Murrow once said, “To be persuasive we have to be believable, to be believable we have to be credible, and to be credible we have to be truthful.” That to me is just what it’s all about when it comes to trust in all of our relationships.
Peggy Greenberg: Here are some general suggestions. First of all, use a variety of techniques to influence other people. Consider what you think their style might be. Seek assignments that will let you try out your influence. Try to seek some assignments where that might be a possibility for you in your current job, although it looked like from the opening chat that many of you already have lots of opportunities in your current job. And, observe other people who are good influencers and try to do the things that you see them do. I think this to me and for me, has always been one of the most useful things, is to observe others who I think have that skill and practice it very, very well.
Peggy Greenberg: Then finally, we influence others to shape our future or others will shape our futures for us. Again, to me, this is kind of the compelling concluding remark of why our influence style is so important, and why influence is so important to how we are as people, how we are as parents, as employees, as people in society. I hope this has been useful to you, and I’m going to turn this over to Sarah now.
Sarah: Wonderful, thank you so much Peggy for the insightful, insightful information. We’ve had some awesome participation. I do have some questions. Go ahead and submit any questions that come in, but the one thing that I just wanted to, I know that has kind of come up Peggy that I just thought before we closed you might be able to conceal about is, some people put out there just some basic terms for each of the four styles.
Sarah: Someone had said the overly aggressive is kind of like your classic bully, the concealed aggressive might be that quiet nod that just says, “Nice job.” People were putting out some of those phrases, and I thought that it might be helpful if you could just share a little bit about each of those four that might just give people that quick little clue. Are they on the right job that it is that simple to see that behavior, or is there something more complicated to it, or are people’s guts spot on?
Peggy Greenberg: Well, I would agree with you. I sure as I was going through the descriptions of these four, you were probably naming those. If that’s something that helps people to remember or to identify, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with doing that. My only caution to you would be that when we label things a certain way, especially something like bully, or milk toast for the passive. When we assign negative labels to things, then I think that perhaps the ability to really have people honestly self-identify and recognize, is this a style that’s working for me and if not, what do I need to do differently?
Peggy Greenberg: I mean, openly aggressive and concealed aggressive aren’t particularly pleasant things to say about yourself. But, if you can acknowledge that that is how I influence and honestly I’m not a very good influencer so I need to work on that, then if it leads … If having any kind of a label then leads us to doing something that’s different and better and more effective, then I say go for it. This model doesn’t have those kinds of labels obviously, or those one word descriptors, but you could probably easily do that.
Sarah: Yeah, good, good. Thank you so much. Then, Katie here on our line participating today has transitioned me perfectly to answer her question here. She has asked, how do we know which style we fit into? The model that Peggy has taken us through today of those four styles is a self-assessment, it’s published by HRDQ. Years of research and development around those, so it’s a well researched self-assessment, and it also comes with a workshop. A lot of what Peggy address today on how do you identify those styles within yourself and then, how do you make that shift to the assertive style is part of the Facilitator Guide workshop.
Sarah: If you are looking to either learn for yourself what your influence style is, you can take the online self-assessment of the Interpersonal Influence Inventory. If you’re looking to train that content in your organization, you have two ways. You can purchase the Facilitator Set for 25% off with the coupon you see here, good through January 17th, so you can check that out. That will give you everything you need to deliver a program.
Sarah: The other thing you can do is reach out to HRDQ. We also have expert trainers like Peggy that we can send on site to your organization and they can deliver this training. Sometimes for this topic in particular, that actually can be helpful to have an outside expert deliver that, so consider HRDQ for some of your service training as well. Well, that’s all the time we have today. Peggy, thank you so much, great talk today and thank you everyone for participating.
Peggy Greenberg: Thanks everybody. Thank you, Sarah. Happy Holidays everyone.