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How to Influence Others

Posted by Marsha Weisleder on 3/2/15 3:00 AM
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So, you need a favor from me. What’s the best way to ask for it? Do you present me with facts and numbers? Do you use the model, “I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine?” How about trying to charm me into saying, “yes?” Or do you get me excited about the idea? What if you have no authority or power? With so many options, what’s the best answer?

In our How to Influence People and Events workshop, we talk about how you can prepare yourself before approaching an individual. One tip is to select the most suitable influencing strategy (or combination) the person will best respond to.

Here are the five influencing strategies:

  1. Logic: Use compelling, logical arguments supported by facts and data. Be prepared with answers to my concerns or objections.
  2. Vision: Use arguments that appeal to my emotions and values. Get me excited about the future and my career aspirations.
  3. Alliance: Tell me you have the support of people I respect and that by being on board I will be able to expand my personal and professional network.
  4. Bartering: Negotiate the exchange of favors with me. For example, bargaining for resources, personnel, time, and money.
  5. Power: Use your earned power, not the power given to you, in your position. Perhaps you have information that I need or personal attributes that urge me to follow you.

So, how do you know which one(s) will work with me? Hopefully, you’ve interacted with me and we’ve built some type of relationship. Maybe you have colleagues who have worked with me in the past. Talk to them before you approach me.

In our How to Influence People and Events workshop, we also discuss how to Manage Your Sphere of Influence, Develop Your Strategy, Build Your Case, and Present Your Case to achieve a win/win outcome. I absolutely love facilitating this course. Each time, we have so many meaningful discussions about relationships, image, power base, and politics. Maybe you can join me in an upcoming workshop where I’d be happy to share my knowledge with you!

Now, back to the favor. I will tell you that I do respond to logic, vision, and interpersonal power. Keep that in mind, the next time you’re in my class! So, what’s your influencing strategy? You never know when you might need something.



Marsha has been a course leader with Langevin since 2000. She graduated from the University of Toronto with a Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience. She went on to attend Osgoode Hall Law School and practiced civil litigation for a few years. While working for a company as their in-house legal counsel, Marsha fell into a training position and never looked back! Each day, Marsha brings passion and excitement to her workshops, always encouraging her participants to find their own passion as well. Outside of the classroom, Marsha loves to spend time with her family, travel, and stay active. Of course her main obsession is Elvis! Some people might think she’s a little over-the-top about him, but doesn’t everyone have an Elvis shrine in their home? Maybe not…

Topics: influencing

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Our very own world-class course leaders share their experiences, tips, best practices, and expertise on virtual training, instructional design, needs analysis, e-learning, delivery, evaluation, presentation skills, facilitation, and much more!

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