Influencing Skills And How We Present Ourselves.
“When an individual plays a part he implicitly requests his observers to take seriously the impression that is fostered before them.”
When dealing with others we wear a mask as we present ourselves to others. It reflects our self concept – what we seek to maintain about ourselves – the self we think we have, the one we think we actually project and the one that others perceive.
As an individual manager you cannot be understood separate from the social fields that you work in.
How we work to deliver our areas of Influence:
- Drama; the manager gives meaning to his/her role and how this works in any given situation. You give out impressions depending upon the goal that you have at any one point and you use behaviour to signify your importance. Staff will associate your behaviour with your role and importance in the workplace.
- Front: “Impression Management” is a strong interpersonal style that staff then recognise and is in turn generated and presented by the manager themselves. Your manners and ways of dealing with certain situations are then fixed.
- Credibility; working in an “appropriate” manner that confirms your role and importance. This is also important when being consistent in your communication style and working practices.
- Signals; managers will use social gatherings to emphasise the role they are carrying out. Running a meeting in a particular style and manner may be dictated by the nature of that meeting or the topics under discussion. Dress, speech, phraseology, use of equipment and insignia all adds to the influence you are putting across.
- Manner; use of the personal touch, dominant, aggressive, yielding, receptive, hostile, etc all contribute to your own sphere of influence. Inconsistency between appearance and manner creates much uncertainty amongst staff and is very hard to unpick and understand.
- Risk Taking; strength of character of some managers is expressed in the manner in which work is completed and carried out. This is again hard to deal with for staff and can create many areas of hidden, unknown influence amongst staff.
Teams and areas of Influence
Teams show exactly how a manager’s influence works. Functional teams can be very different to dysfunctional teams just due to the impact of the leader. Areas to consider here are around:
- The Team – individuals who co-operate to enact a goal-oriented performance
- Performance – audience relationships
Team co-operation is evident from consensus and conformity in the demeanour/behaviour of “team” players and the roles that the player assumes, given the intended, desired performance. The scope for dissent is minimised as individuals must maintain their front/face in line with the expectations of team performance. The team should also project a “proper front” for each audience.
As with all aspects of the managerial role always take time to prepare and consider how you present yourself and consider what you are trying to achieve.
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