Let’s talk about: influencing style

I saw an interesting article lately from Yassmin Abdel-Magied on this LinkedIn post. Harvard Business Review (HBR) also discussed this topic in January 2012.

The video above explain clearly what is meant by ‘influencing’. It states, “your ability to influence others will impact your capabilities as a leader”. This is so true.

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Influence Style IndicatorTM

As someone who has been working in social development sector through advocacy/ influencing, I found this diagram interesting, as we rarely talk about how every person is doing their influencing. There are five distinct ‘styles’ and two broad ‘orientations’ for influencing style. I have used all of these ‘styles’ and ‘orientations’ without realizing it. I changed my style according to the context and who I am influencing. For example, I use ‘rationalizing’ often in my current office, as we use research to influence policymakers on what they could do to improve the life of children in Indonesia. Because of this, it has became a habit for me to use the ‘rationalizing’ style. I have also been involved in various networks over the years, making ‘bridging’ one of my primary style when doing advocacy with people with similar vision and mission.


  • Rationalizing—Using logic and reasoning to present ideas.
  • Asserting—Stating preferences clearly and applying pressure.
  • Negotiating—Compromising and making concessions to find common ground.
  • Inspiring—Influencing others through shared purposes and broader possibilities.
  • Bridging—Engaging and connecting with others.


  • Advocating: Individuals put forward ideas and offer logical and rational reasons to convince others of their point of view.
  • Uniting: Individuals advocate for their position by encouraging others with a sense of shared mission and exciting possibilities.

It is important for us to realize that awareness about what ‘styles’ and ‘orientations’ you often use is a good start, but you can always explore other ‘styles’ and ‘orientations’ to enhance your influencing – whether it is done internally or externally!

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