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During the Positive Power & Influence Programme delegates practise their influence skills using behaviours that may feel unfamiliar. The core styles are persuading, asserting, bridging and attracting, and during the pre-programme assignment and the live programme itself, delegates analyse which styles they might overuse, and which they tend to avoid using altogether. This is important as an over reliance on a single style can, in the long term, lead individuals to damage working relationships or miss business targets.

The ultimate goal of the Positive Power & Influence Programme is for our delegates to achieve influence-style flexibility – to learn how to alter their approach to suit the situation, in order to maintain and strengthen relationships while also achieving their goals.

Last year we compiled a series of film scenes as examples of influence styles and behaviours. Today we introduce our second batch of classic clips showing influence in action . . . but with varying degrees of success.

Style: Asserting

Behaviour: Negative Evaluation / Pressure

Clip: Barefoot in the Park

Jane Fonda exerts pressure on her new husband.

Excerpt: ‘Was that a kiss? ‘Cos boy if that’s what kisses are going to be like from now on don’t bother to come back at five thirty.’

Style: Asserting

Behaviour: Stating Expectations

Clip: Apollo 13

Ed Harris states expectations to the ground crew.

Excerpt: ‘Well, we’re gonna have to figure it out. I want people in our simulators working re-entry scenarios. I want you guys to find every engineer who designed every switch, every circuit, every transistor and every light bulb that’s up there. Then I want you to talk to the guy in the assembly line who had actually built the thing. Find out how to squeeze every amp out of both of these goddamn machines. I want this mark all the way back to Earth with time to spare.’

Style: Attracting

Behaviours: Finding Common Ground

Clip: The Magnificent Seven

Eli Wallach attempts to attract Yul Brynner to his way of thinking.

Excerpt: ‘I leave it to you. Can men of our profession worry about things like that? May even be sacrilegious. If God didn’t want them sheered he would not have made them sheep.’

Style: Bridging / Attracting

Behaviour: Disclosing / Finding Common Ground

Clip: Pride & Prejudice

Colin Firth’s disclosure partially disarms Jennifer Ehle.

Excerpt: ‘I have not that talent which some possess of conversing easily with strangers.’
‘Well I do not play this instrument so well as I should wish to, but I have always supposed that to be my own fault because I would not take the trouble of practising.’
‘You are perfectly right. You’ve employed your time much better. No one admitted to the privilege of hearing you could think anything wanting. We neither of us perform to strangers.’

Style: Attracting

Behaviour: Sharing Visions

Clip: V for Vendetta

A masked Hugo Weaving seeks to inspire an oppressed British populace to revolt.

Excerpt: ‘But if you see what I see, if you feel as I feel, and if you would seek as I seek, then I ask you to stand beside me one year from tonight, outside the gates of Parliament, and together we shall give them a fifth of November that shall never, ever be forgot.’

Style: Bridging

Behaviours: Disclosing

Clip: Any Given Sunday

Al Pacino discloses weakness en route to all-out chest thumping machismo.

Excerpt: ‘. . . and lately, I can’t even stand the face I see in the mirror . . .’

Styles: Persuading

Behaviours: Reasoning

Clip: Tootsie

Agent Sydney Pollack reasons with Dustin Hoffman over his unrealistic expectations.

Excerpt: ‘Nobody wants to pay twenty dollars to watch people living next to chemical waste. They could see that in New Jersey.’

Styles: Bridging

Behaviours: Listening

Clip: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Charlie Sheen listens carefully to Jennifer Grey, repeating her words for clarification.

Excerpt: ‘I see . . . So you’re pissed off ‘cos he ditches and doesn’t get caught is that it?’

Style: Persuading

Behaviour: Proposing

Clip: A Night in Casablanca

Groucho invites the President of the Morocco Laundry Company to leave his hotel.

Excerpt: ‘My Smyth? Or Smith. This is a family hotel and I suggest you take your business elsewhere.’

Style: Bridging

Behaviours: Involving / Listening / Disclosing

Clip: North by Northwest

Eva Marie Saint spars with a fugitive Cary Grant.

Excerpt: ‘I tipped the steward five dollars to seat you here if you should come in.’
‘Is that a proposition?’
‘I never discuss love on an empty stomach.’
‘You’ve already eaten!’
‘But you haven’t.’
‘ . . . Don’t you think it’s time we were introduced?’

Style: Persuading

Behaviour: Proposing

Clip: Rocky

Burgess Meredith attempts to convince Sylvester Stallone that he needs a manager.

Excerpt: ‘I never had no management, that’s the trouble. I got all this knowledge I got it up here and I wanna give it to you.’

Style: Bridging

Behaviours: Involving / Listening / Disclosing

Clip: The Graduate

Anne Bancroft employs pull styles with Dustin Hoffman.

Excerpt: ‘Mrs Robinson, you didn’t… I mean, you didn’t expect…’
‘I mean, you didn’t really think I’d do something like that.
‘Like what?’
‘What do you think?’
‘Well, I don’t know.’
‘For god’s sake, Mrs Robinson. Here we are. You got me into your house. You give me a drink. You… put on music. Now you start opening up your personal life to me and tell me your husband won’t be home for hours.’