February 8, 2022

190: Influencing without Authority

Influencing others is a key part of most managerial positions. Too often we conflate authority with influence. Authority is an exercise in power while influence is about encouraging people to join you in a shared mission.

Whether it’s getting a team member to change their behavior, generating buy-in from your supervisor, or getting a colleague in a different department to help out, we are often in positions where we don’t have (or don’t want to use) positional power to get what we need. This is where we rely on our ability to influence.

In this episode, I walk through 5 approaches to influencing without authority so that you can gain support in ways that both deliver results and feel good along the way.

The full episode guide includes tips and suggestions for each of the five approaches. Get it when you join the Modern Manager community or purchase the full guide at www.themodernmanager.com/shop.

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Read the related blog article: 5 Approaches to Influencing Without Authority

Key Takeaways:

  • Influencing without authority happens by building relationships not through exercising power.
  • Start with curiosity. Learn who they are and what they care about. When you ask for their involvement, align your project or request with their values.
  • Figure out what barriers are stopping people from saying yes. Address concerns and find ways to help remove obstacles. Being willing to help will make a strong positive impression.
  • Cultivate an authentic relationship before making any asks. Use the “3 Touches Before An Ask” strategy to reduce the likelihood that the person will feel they’re being used..
  • If you struggle with building authentic relationships, think about what someone skilled in this would do in such a situation. Then take those steps.
  • Include others in the decision making process. People support what they help create. Listen to ideas and be open to reshaping your vision.
  • Craft compelling personal narratives to increase interest in your cause. People give when their emotions are aroused.


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