Power and Influence

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There is a strong link between leadership and power in that, people within an organization or work setting tends to be guided by those who are more powerful. There are several ways through which people can gain power and influence in their own workplace, which will be examined in this essay. French and Raven model will be applied in determining how one can influence people in a work place.


One way through which people can be influenced in a workplace is through authority. The legitimate right to influence people on the basis of ones stand within an organization is what defines authority. Authority is applicable to bureaucratic organizations and a key mechanism for achieving political leadership positions. The other way of gaining influence and power is through coaching. People gain novel insight and skills on how to influence other people through coaching. Majority of supervisors and managers are not the most appropriate coaches because what they do is telling their subjects what to do rather than showing them how things are done (Northouse, 2009).

Persuasion is the other way that is applicable for gaining influence and power. When authority fails to influence people, persuasion is employed. The aftermath of persuasion is an agreement, which does not necessarily guarantee taking the required course of action. This method of gaining influence needs adequate understanding and knowledge of cognition and change of attitude. Relationship is the other sphere of influence that most scholars fail to consider. The relationship power lies in having the knowledge and insight on how to build, maintain and mend relationships. Most of the times, a business venture begins with establishment of a sound and strong relationship. On the other hand it becomes extremely challenging to carry out business activities with strained relationships among individuals involved (Glaser, March, 2006).

It is presumable that if at all leaders take adequate time in building relationships, trust, credibility, rapport and empathy, they would be able to gain influence and power. Expertise is the other sphere of influence that is rather paradoxical when it comes to its usage. People whoa re deemed to have valuable knowledge and information are referred to as experts. Most of the times, experts are people who are able to make fair and sound decisions in addition to having great problem solving skills. Such people are most of the times respected and perceived to be leaders. Attribution theory is a form of psychological theory, that explains the basis through which people can gain influence and power through expertise (Glaser, March, 2006).

Gaining of influence and power can also be achieved through having a vision. There countable leaders who are able to motivate and influence themselves and people with vision. Such leaders seem to possess an intrinsic motivation that acts as a driving force towards achievement of specific goals and objectives. Expectations are also aspects through which visionary leaders can influence people and gain power. Tremendous influence is exerted by setting both negative and positive expectations and only a few leaders know how to use the expectations appropriately.

The final method by which people can be influenced is through charismatic leadership. It is challenging to be a charismatic leader but a worthwhile course. Knowledge of the psychological mechanism nature associated with identification is the basis for the influence exerted through charisma.


It is possible to transform all the mentioned methods of influencing people and gaining power into a skill. Lack of the influencing skill is not a guarantee that the skill can never be achieved in future.


Glaser, G. E. (March, 2006). Power and Influence. Leadership Excellence, 23(3). Retrieved on February 2, 2011 from ABI/INFORM Global database

Northouse, P. G. (2009). Leadership. Theory and practice. SAGE Publication

Nancy Morgan is the Author of this paper. She is a senior academic writer and an editor and she offers Dissertation Writing Service. Thus, people that doubt their own writing abilities can use the best custom paper writing service and forget about their fears and lack of confidence by visiting EssayWritingBay.Com

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