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Influence in a Matrix Environment: Use Your Personal Power! [Week 2 of 2]

Posted by on July 5, 2012

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Positive Power and InfluenceLast week, we talked about the first 2 keys to influencing in a matrix environment:

  1. Stakeholders: Know who your key stakeholders are in the process.
  2. Objectives: Be very clear about your objective with each key stakeholder.

This week, we’re adding the final 2 powerful keys to your success:

3. Power

Be aware of the limitations of your positional power in a matrix. Keep in mind that when working in a matrix, there is a fair amount of stress in the system and tensions can run high. Many times our perception of what is at stake needs to be carefully managed. Of course we all would like others to see things from our perspective, however that usually isn’t the case. Tread carefully! It can be very tempting to rely on positional power for leverage in a matrix, but overuse of positional power can be fatal in an influence situation. You run the risk of coming across as high-handed and arrogant, losing credibility with others and eroding relationships that should be nurtured. Instead, you should use your personal power: your ability utilize a variety of influence techniques and approaches based on the situation and the people involved.

4. Flexibility

Influence style flexibility is the key to creating results. The most important thing you have in a matrix is your ability to persuade others with logic and create exchanges that make sense for all parties. In order to do this, you must cultivate your ability to listen carefully and build bridges with others around common interests and shared vision. Continual work on your influence skills will be required, since a well-rounded set of influence skills will help you identify conditions in each situation that will impact the style and approach you choose.

When you put all 4 of these powerful keys to success together in the training classroom, you take away an incredible set of tools you can use to improve relationships in your own “sphere” within the larger matrix environment. You’ll experience the benefits almost immediately!

Karen Holmes is a CGWA Senior Consultant and Trainer, based in the U.S. and delivering programs such as  Coaching, Interpersonal Communication Skills, Positive Power and Influence, Presentation Skills, and many more.

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