Overt and Covert Influencing

These days everyone has to be able to influence in some aspect of their lives, be it the workplace or on the personal front. Good influencing is a great skill to have and some people are just naturally adept at it. Whether using a charm initiative, empathy, business acumen, humour, persuasiveness, even persistence, there are all kinds of ways to influence.

There’s one aspect of influencing that might help you prepare your influencing strategy more effectively, and that’s to look at the whole arena in terms of overt or covert influencing.

Here’s how we define the difference.

In overt influencing both you and ‘influencee’ know what’s happening; both of you are conscious of what’s going on. It’s like flirting: you know your doing it and the recipient knows as well.

In the case of influencing it’s as though everyone’s cards are on the table: everyone knows what hand the other ‘holds’.

There tends to be a free exchange of useful information that will be mutually beneficial and all parties prefer things to be transparent. Along with that, agendas and goals are also clear and agreed and the influencing ‘play’ if you will is about how to ‘get there’.

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