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Bridging – the ‘You’ Style

Bridging is all about the other person. It’s about creating a bridge between you and the person you are trying to influence so that you truly understand their situation and their perspective, without sacrificing your own position.

Bridging works best when you value the contribution and commitment of the other person.

When you use Bridging well, you are able to see what life looks like from the other person’s perspective.

But take note: By focussing on others, you may be perceived as easily influenced as you are less able to promote your thoughts and ideas vigorously – you may miss the opportunity to influence. Others may not be clear about your needs or your feelings so tend to overlook them, when, in fact, they may actually share the same objectives as you.

Bridging involves three Behaviours: Involving, Listening, and Disclosing. Balancing all three of the Behaviours will create the ‘bridge’.


You involve the other person by encouraging their participation and asking them to give their views on a situation. You ask open questions so that you can deepen your understanding.

To Involve well it is important that you don’t interrogate the other person or try and make them say what you want to hear.

When you use Involving well, the other person will feel valued. They will know that you truly want to understand their position and that you are open to influence.

Style Stems

Help me understand…?

Tell me more about…?

How do you see this…?

Why is X important to you…?


You Listen to the other person by paraphrasing, summarising and reflecting back what they say or how they feel in order to build a foundation of mutual understanding. When you Listen well you give the other person your full attention and demonstrate that you acknowledge their views and feelings as real and important.

Style Stems

If I understand you correctly then…

Based on what you said you must be feeling…

Do you mean…?


You Disclose by being open with the other person about your uncertainty, your past mistakes, and your own experiences. When you Disclose well you build an environment of trust which allows the other person to open up and share more information.

Style Stems

I need you help…

I’m unsure about…

I’m feeling really under pressure about…

This is a new area for me…

Example: Bridging

‘Last time you delivered a report late I went to the board and got roasted for it. My credibility really suffered and I really don’t want to go through that again. So this time I’d like to know more about where you’re up to in terms of completing it?

It sounds to me as though you’re concerned you don’t have all the information you need from finance?

So you’d like me talk to the finance team and find out when those figures will be ready?’

STYLE: Bridging

BEHAVIOUR: Listening

12 Angry Men / Nose Marks


Joseph Sweeney bridges with E.G. Marshall over his eyesight, before uncovering a major flaw in the testimony of a key witness.


Juror 9: Now, why were you rubbing your nose like that?

Juror 4: Well if it’s any of your business, I was rubbing it because it bother’s me a little.

Juror 9: Oh I’m sorry. Is it, is it because of your eye glasses?

Juror 4: It is. Now could we get on to something else?

Juror 9: Your eyeglasses made those two deep impressions on the sides of your nose. I hadn’t noticed that before. That must be annoying.

Juror 4: It is very annoying.

Juror 9: I wouldn’t know about that. I’ve never worn eyeglasses. Twenty twenty!

STYLE: Bridging

BEHAVIOUR: Disclosing

Kramer vs. Kramer / Ted’s Plea


Dustin Hoffman discloses his parenting faults as he fights for custody of his son.


Ted: There’s a lot of things I didn’t understand, a lot of things I’d do different if I could. Just like I think there’s a lot of things you wish you could change, but we can’t. Some things once they’re done can’t be undone. My wife, my ex-wife, says that she loves Billy, and I believe she does, but I don’t think that’s the issue here . . .

Ted: . . . Billy has a home with me, I made it the best I could. It’s not perfect, I’m not a perfect parent. Sometimes I don’t have enough patience and I forget that he’s a . . . he’s a little kid. But I’m there.

Open to read more about The Asserting Style

Asserting – the ‘I’ Style

Asserting comes from the heart. It is all about you, the influencer,  being clear what it is that you need or want.

Asserting works best when you have legitimate needs, and both you and the other person have something to gain or lose.

When you use Asserting well, you create a climate that allows your needs, and those of the person you are influencing, to be heard and fully understood. You encourage others to bargain and trade in order to reach an outcome that works best for both parties.

Asserting comprises three Behaviours: Evaluating, Stating Expectations, and Using Incentives and Pressures. The Style is most effective when the Behaviours are used in this order. However, it may not be necessary to Use Incentives and/or Pressures to achieve your influence objective.


You evaluate by telling the person you want to influence how you feel about a situation. You tell them what you do and don’t like about the situation – positive and negative evaluation. When you evaluate well you reinforce the things you like, and make clear the things you want to see changed.

Style Stems

I like it when you…

It’s really helpful when you…

I don’t like it when you…

I’m upset that you

Stating Expectations

You State Expectations by telling the other person specifically what you would like them to do. You do not give reasons as this dilutes the clarity of your message. When you State Expectations well the other person is completely clear about what you want them to do.

Style Stems

I ‘d like you to…

I want you to…

I expect you to…

You must…

Using Incentives and Pressures

When you use Incentives and Pressures you tell people what will happen if they meet or do not meet your expectations. When you Use Incentives and Pressures well, the other person knows the choices they have and what bargains you’re prepared to make.

Style Stems

If you do X I will do Y…

I’d be willing to do A if you do B…

If you can’t do A, then I will have to do C…

Example: Asserting

‘I really like the quality of the reports that you produce for me. What I don’t like is that they are consistently handed in to me late. I don’t want that to happen this time. I need you to give me the report by 5pm on Friday. If you can give it to me by that time I’ll make sure that you get the opportunity to present it to the board on Monday. If you don’t get it in on time then I won’t take the heat for you when I get asked where it is. I’ll let them know that it’s you who’s slowing me down.’

STYLE: Asserting

BEHAVIOUR: Stating Expectations

Apollo 13 / Failure is Not an Option


After listening to technical arguments, Ed Harris states his expectations to the ground crew.


Kranz: 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: Asserting

BEHAVIOUR: Using Incentives (and pressures)

Barefoot in the Park / A Real Kiss (NOTE: MILD SEXUAL CONTENT)


Jane Fonda exerts pressure on her new husband.


Corie: 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.’

Paul: Corie I can’t kiss you anymore. My lips are numb, now will you please go inside?

Corie: If you don’t give me, a real kiss, I’m gonna give you back your pyjamas . . . right now.

Open to read more about The Persuading Style

Persuading – the ‘It’ Style

Persuading comes from the head. It is about logic, data, and rationale. It is about effecting change because of what you think and what you know.

Persuading works best when you and the other person are willing to let facts determine the best course of action. When you use Persuading well you encourage others to objectively review the available information and think logically about a solution.

Persuading comprises two Behaviours: Proposing and Reasoning. These two Behaviours, used together and in this order, are very effective. It is more effective to say what it is you’re suggesting first (Proposing) because you will get peoples’ attention and they are more likely to want to hear the reasons that sit behind the proposal.


Proposing is a recommendation for the best course of action. When you use Proposing well you make it clear to others that you are looking for a solution, rather than just a discussion about the data.

Style Stems

‘How about…’

‘I suggest…’

‘I propose that …’

‘I have an idea, let’s…’


You Reason by giving others facts that support your proposal. To Reason well you should give others two or three facts that are most likely to influence them. To do this, you need to understand that other people may think differently to you.

Style Stems

‘My reasons are…’

‘The data shows…’


Example: Persuading

‘I recommend that you complete the report and get it to me by 5pm on Friday, and I have a couple of reasons. Firstly, that will give me the weekend to read the report so that I can prepare for the meeting on Monday. It will also mean that you can go off on your holiday next week knowing that there is nothing outstanding.’

STYLE: Persuading BEHAVIOUR: Proposing

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid / Off the Cliff


Trapped and outnumbered, Paul Newman proposes the only possible escape route.


Butch: No we’ll jump.

Sundance: Like hell we will.

Butch: No it’ll be ok. If the water’s deep enough and we don’t get squished to death. They’ll never follow us.

Sundance: How do you know?

Butch: Would you make a jump like that you didn’t have to?

Sundance: I have to and I’m not gonna.

Butch: Well we have to otherwise we’re dead. They’re just gonna have to go back down the same way they come. Come on.

STYLE: Persuading

BEHAVIOUR: Reasoning

The Hunt For Red October / Another Possibility (NOTE: MILD SWEARING!)


Alec Baldwin presents evidence to support his theory that a Russian sub captain might be trying to defect.


Ryan: I was just thinking that perhaps there’s another possibility we might consider: Ramius might be trying to defect.

General: Do you mean to suggest that this man has come . . .

Pelt: Proceed, Mr Ryan.

Ryan: Well, Ramius trained most of their officer corps, which would put him in a position to select men willing to help him. And he’s not Russian. He’s Lithuanian by birth, raised by his paternal grandfather, a fisherman. And he has no children, no ties to leave behind. And today is the first anniversary of his wife’s death.

Open to read more about The Attracting Style

Attracting – the ‘Us’ Style

Attracting is about alignment and working together for a common purpose.

Attracting works best when you are personally committed to the objective and the other person has an important role to play in supporting a joint effort.

When you use Attracting well you generate excitement about future possibilities. You energise people and motivate them to overcome obstacles and move forward.

Attracting involved two Behaviours: Finding Common Ground and Sharing Visions.

Finding Common Ground

You Find Common Ground by identifying the interests, ideas, beliefs, and values that you share with the other person.

When you Find Common Ground well, you establish something tangible that can underpin you working together.

Style Stems

We both believe in…

We share a concern about…

Remember last year when we…

With your experience in x and my ability to y…

Sharing Visions

You Share Visions by painting a picture in the mind of the other person of a shared, optimistic future. When you Share Visions well you establish a sense of togetherness with the other person and a sense of excitement about possibilities and long term objectives.

Style Stems

Picture this…

Imagine the two of us…

A year from now we’ll both be…

What I see us doing is…

Example: Attracting

You and I both want to look good in front of the board. It’s important to us for our future careers. And I know we’re both excited about this new project that we’re trying to get the budget for. So with your expertise in report writing and my ability to sell to the board, imagine how it will be on Monday when we can go back to our teams and tell them we’ve got an even bigger budget than we set out and that we’ve got the go-ahead for this project.

BEHAVIOUR: Finding Common Ground

Jaws / Scars


A moneyed oceanographer (Richard Dreyfuss) and grizzled fisherman (Robert Shaw) find some common ground.


Quint: Chief… don’t you worry about it, Chief. It won’t be permanent. Wanna see somethin’ permanent, boom-boom-boom? Hey, Hoop, you wanna feel somethin’ permanent? You just put your hand underneath my cap… and you just feel that little lump. Knock an ole un, St. Paddy’s day, Boston.

Hooper: I got that beat. I got that beat. It’s a Moray eel. Bit right through my wetsuit. . .

Quint: Well, Hoop, now, listen. I, I don’t know about that but I entered an arm wrestling contest in an Oke bar in San Francisco. You see this? Now I can’t extend that, do you know why? Get to the semi-final, celebrating my third wife demise, big Chinese fella, he pulled me right over!

Hooper: Look at that . . . It’s a bull shark. Scraped me when I was taking samples.

Quint: I got somethin’ for yer. That’s the thresher you see that? Chief, thresher’s tail.

Brody: Thresher?

Hooper: It’s a shark.

Quint: You wanna drink? Drink to your leg?

Hooper: I’ll drink to your leg.

Quint: Ok so we drink to our legs.

STYLE: Attracting

BEHAVIOUR: Sharing Visions

Henry V / Saint Crispin’s Day


Kenneth Branagh shares inspiring visions to prepare the lads for Agincourt.


King Henry: He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,

Will stand a tip-toe when this day is nam’d,

And rouse him at the name of Crispian.

He that shall see this day, and live old age,

Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,

And say “To-morrow is Saint Crispian.”

Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars,

And say “These wounds I had on Crispin’s day.”

Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot,

But he’ll remember, with advantages,

What feats he did that day. Then shall our names,

Familiar in their mouths as household words—

Harry the King, Bedford and Exeter,

Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester—

Be in their flowing cups freshly rememb’red.

This story shall the good man teach his son;

And Crispin Crispian shall ne’er go by,

From this day to the ending of the world,

But we in it shall be remembered-

We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;

For he to-day that sheds his blood with me

Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,

This day shall gentle his condition;

And gentlemen in England now a-bed

Shall think themselves accurs’d they were not here,

And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks

That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.