• I took a quick online test to determine my style when it comes to influencing people.
• The assessment breaks down five different styles people tend to use to get what they want.
• I learned that it’s best to be flexible and put different methods to use, depending on the situation.
Everyone wants to be able to get what they want.
Some of us just aren’t very good about doing it.
The online test featured a number of repetitive questions about my preferences when it comes to working with and influencing others. Each question provided you with two choices — for example, “I present rational arguments” and ” ou.
Here’s what I found out:
First, we talked a bit about the potential results you can get.
The test breaks down your aptitude in five different categories -- asserting, rationalizing, negotiating, bridging, and inspiring. On the test itself, participants receive a score out of 16 for each style category.
· Assertive people take a more aggressive, 'my way or the highway' tack.
· Rationalizers adopt a logical, data-driven approach.
· People who negotiate give up something they want in order to work with others.
· Individuals who use the 'bridging' technique find common ground and build teams.
· And the inspiring style tends to involve appeals to 'the big picture' and noble causes.
'No one style is the best or is correct,' Stein told me. 'It's a matter of knowing which style to use at which point and time. Everybody has a preferred style.'
In order to get what you want, according to Stein, it's best to be flexible and use a style appropriate for whatever situation you find yourself in.
For example, it's all well and good to pepper your team with encouraging, inspirational statements on how your business is going to change the world for the better. But, when it's crunch time and you're on deadline, you might want to switch to a more assertive attitude.
Next, I got my results.
My highest score was in the inspiring category -- I received a 15 out of 16.
I wasn't surprised. I'm very inspirational. Just kidding. What this really means is I tend to try to get what I want by 'articulating shared interests,' promoting 'higher goals and objectives' and attempting to lay the 'the groundwork for joint problem solving,' according to my results.
'Everyone kind of has a primary style, but you really scored high -- you're really up in there,' Stein told me. He said most people get less extreme results and are more evenly spread out throughout each category.
Looking back on my results, I noticed I scored highly in the bridging category, too. I also got 'slightly prefer' in rationalizing and negotiating.
The one place where I totally bombed was in the asserting category; it was the only 'underutilized' style in my results.
This basically means that I'm not particularly good at voicing my opinions or making demands in the workplace.
The results all sounded like me. Next, I wanted to figure out what I could do to tweak my style and become better at getting what I want.
In order to become more assertive, Stein said I can start by taking steps to to push against the status quo.
'You really have to give yourself permission to state what you think is correct,' he told me.
My results also recommended forcing myself to make decisions even when 'data may not be available,' being more willing to act upon my more unpopular views, and hang out with people who make forceful decisions constantly.
For the moment, I'm pretty happy with my way of doing things. However, I plan to ask more clarifying questions from here on out. It's good start, anyway.
Stein said anyone can take steps to change their style, if necessary.
'They're all skills you can learn,' Stein said. 'If you're low in one, you can improve it. If you're not assertive, you can bump up your assertiveness a bit.'
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