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Influence Tactics


Influencing refers to a person or agent exerting force to other persons to persuade them to change their behaviors, attitudes, opinions, needs, goals and values (Nebraska University, Lincoln, 2007). Influence is the capability to affect the conduct of other people in a particular course. Leaders use different tactics, strategies and conducts designed to sway and alter other people’s values, beliefs, attitudes or actions. Leaders tend to use different strategies and comparatively diverse goals dependent upon the process of the urging. For example, it occurs when leaders try to plead with someone beneath or above them. An imperative motive for preferring a particular persuasion tactic might depend upon what the manager desires to achieve.

Influence Tactics

Legitimating Tactic

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In legitimating tactic, a person aims at establishing the authenticity of a request via claiming the right or power to make it (Nebraska University, Lincoln, 2007). The person can also establish the legality of the request via verifying its consistency with the organizational traditions, policies or practices. Legitimating tactic arises when the person exerting force obtains a position that associates influence with rank or status (New Charter University, 2014). Such tactic counts on the compliance with laws, regulations and rules. The tactics do not intend to motivate persons but align them behind a direction of actions. For example, the vice president of the bank has the lawful power due to her position. If she orders an employee beneath her in the managerial chart, the employee has to follow the order (Kreitner & Angelo, 2012).


The manager at the bank tells employees to start wearing office clothes because it is the policy of the bank.

Rational Persuasion Tactic

In rational persuasion, a person uses factual evidence, as well as logical arguments to convince others that a request or proposal is coherent and may lead to the accomplishment of the task goals. Such influence arises when the person persuading the other is a specialist in that field (New Charter University, 2014).


A friend’s sister argues that her younger sister should allow her to spend ten more minutes in the bathroom to make toilet every morning. Furthermore, she argues that her long hair requires much time to dry. In addition, according to her, she has extra makeup to wear. She rationalizes that given that her younger sister is too young to have a boyfriend, she has no reason to work hard trying to find a man. Allowing the elder sister ten more minutes in the bathroom might result in the benefit of her finding a boyfriend and eventually a husband. She will then move out and the younger sister will witness the task aim as the bathroom will remain free for her.      

Inspirational Appeal Tactic

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Inspirational appeal is when a person arouses the enthusiasm of other persons for a subject through influencing the other persons’ values, aspirations and ideas (Kreitner & Angelo, 2012). A person can also make requests that arouse the passion of other individuals through increasing their confidence of making it (Kreitner & Angelo, 2012).


A classmate says that if the local animal shelter or the ASPCA lets him enter the room filled with kittens and shows him a poignant video regarding ill-treated pets, the classmate will adopt them. He assumes that if ASPCA shows him how to become an inspiration through adopting the pets, he would most probably take all of them and donate charitably to facilitate their endeavors. Many organizations use touching requests to make people act

Consultation Tactic

The person exerting force tries to find the contribution of others in making a judgment or in developing a plan on how to put into operation a projected policy, change, strategy (New Charter University 2014). The person seeks for the participation of people who support the strategy, policy or change (Kreitner & Angelo, 2012). Such type of influence depends on coercion or incentive so that to obtain what someone wants. The person uses the others as consultants to help him or her (Nebraska University, Lincoln, 2007).


An aspiring graduate student says that she wants to do her postgraduate degree and she has asked her university teachers to write recommendation letters for her. According to her, she goes to her professors and asks them for guidance, influencing them to write her the letters. She asks questions regarding the graduate school, in particular the instructors who attended the graduate school she wants to go to. They have consulted her about UWM, its programs and what she should do to be admitted to the school. She is hoping to both obtain counsel and persuade the professor to do some things for her and help her go to graduate school through discussion with the relevant people and writing a recommendation letter. 

Exchange Tactic

In this tactic, the person exerting power gives someone something for what he or she wants in exchange (Nebraska University, Lincoln, 2007). The person proposes an exchange of favors, promises to share the benefits, or indicates readiness to return the debt later if the other people help in accomplishing the task. The tactic is a mutual benefit (Kreitner & Angelo, 2012).

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A person offers to buy their partners beer and make them a cake if the partners are spouses become polite to their mother-in-laws for dinner and avoids any jokes regarding the mother-in-laws’ recent weight gain.

Coercive/Pressure Tactic

Coercion occurs when the power holder exerts persuasion using penalties, demands, frequent checking and threats to do what he/she desires (Kreitner & Angelo, 2012). To pressure or coerce people means to exert undue influence upon people to do what one desires or else he will let undesirable things happen to them (Kreitner & Angelo, 2012).

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