Leadership Influence Techniques From The Army

The United States Army has a field manual on leadership and leadership influence. In it, they describe multiple techniques for influencing your team/squad to accomplish tasks and fulfill mission objectives.

Leadership Influence Techniques

It has a great list of leadership influence techniques that would benefit managers or team leaders in office settings:

  1. Pressure
  2. Legitimate requests
  3. Exchange
  4. Personal appeals
  5. Collaboration
  6. Rational persuasion
  7. Apprising
  8. Inspiration
  9. Participation
  10. Relationship Building

Pressure

Some good ideas on applying pressure,

Pressure is applied when leaders use explicit demands to achieve compliance, such as establishing task completion deadlines with negative consequences imposed for unmet completion. Indirect pressure includes persistent reminders of the request and frequent checking. This technique should be used infrequently since it tends to trigger resentment from followers, especially if the leader-exerted pressure becomes too severe. When followers perceive that pressures are not mission related but originate from their leader’s attempt to please superiors for personal recognition, resentment can quickly undermine an organization’s morale, cohesion, and quality of performance. Pressure is a good choice when the stakes are high, time is short, and previous attempts at achieving commitment have not been successful

Apprising

This is what happens when the leader explains why a request will benefit the team member, it is known as apprising. You apprise a person and let them know the advantages, the worth, potentially what a blessing the request could be.

Apprising happens when the leader explains why a request will benefit a follower, such as giving them greater satisfaction in their work or performing a task a certain way that will save half the time. In contrast to the exchange technique, the benefits are out of the control of the leader.

For example; suggesting that a team member takes a training course. The benefits are out of the control of the leader, you can’t guarantee that they will learn a lot or that they will enjoy. However, as a leader you can convince them and apprise them of the benefits of additional education, such as opening doors to promotions or new projects.

Participation and Inspiration

In a democracy and in collaborative workplaces the inspiration technique is vital to get people moving in the same direction. Inspiration aligns people to accomplish the same goals without using coercion. With inspiration, you inspire the team to do the tasks that will accomplish the mission objectives.

The participation technique is commonly suggested when change is being introduced to a team or organization. The team or organization is invited to participate within the change. They are invited to craft the change to suit them. This technique is highly valuable. It should be used as often as possible to get buy-in from team members on the goals and tasks that need to be done.

Participation occurs when the leader asks a follower to take part in planning how to address a problem or meet an objective. Active participation leads to an increased sense of worth and recognition. It provides value to the effort and builds commitment to execute the commitment.

Other Leadership Training Material

They also cover other things such as:

  • creating a positive environment
  • developing others
  • providing direction, guidance and priorities in order to accomplish a mission

You can download the full PDF of their guide here: http://www.fas.org/irp/doddir/army/fm6-22.pdf

10 Leadership Influence Techniques

Leader Development Table of Contents

For convenience and accessibility, I have included the table of contents of the US Army Field Manual 6-22 Leader Development below:

  • Leader Development
    • Tenets of Army Leader Development
    • The Challenge for Leader Development
    • Leadership Requirements
    • Cohesive and Effective Teams
    • Growth Across Levels of Leadership and by Cohorts
    • Transitions Across Organizational Levels
  • Program Development
    • Unit Leader Development Programs
    • Evaluation of Leader Development Programs
  • Fundamentals of Development
    • Setting Conditions
      • Learning Environment
      • Knowledge of Subordinates
    • Providing Feedback
      • Observation Planning
      • Accurate Observations and Assessments
      • Feedback Delivery
    • Enhancing Learning
      • Leader Role Models
      • Mentorship
      • Guided Discovery Learning
      • Coaching
      • Study
    • Creating Opportunities
      • Challenging Experiences
      • Leader Selection
      • Leader Succession
      • Career Development and Management
  • Self-Development
    • Strengths and Developmental Needs Determination
    • Goal Setting
    • Self-Enhanced Learning
    • Learning in Action
  • Unique Aspects for Development
    • Character
    • Judgement and Problem Solving
    • Adaptability
  • Leader Performance Indicators
    • Accurate and Descriptive Observations
    • Application of the Performance Indicators
  • Learning and Developmental Activities
    • Capability Evaluation and Expansion
    • Developmental Activities
    • Leads Others
    • Builds Trust
    • Extends Influence Beyond the Chain of Command
    • Leads by Example
    • Communicates
    • Creates a Positive Environment/Fosters Esprit de Corps
    • Prepares Self
    • Develops Others
    • Stewards the Profession
    • Gets Results
  • Glossary
  • References
  • Index

Want More Leadership Influence Techniques?

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Author: Rudolf Olah

Rudolf Olah is a software development expert with over 6 years of professional software developer experience. He has produced the video course Learning AngularJS Testing for PacktPublishing and works on the strategic as well as the tactical parts of software and web devleopment.

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