It’s no secret that the economic crisis has dramatically changed the face of domestic and global business. With large-scale layoffs and massive budget cuts, businesses must now drive unprecedented performance but with rapidly diminishing resources.

This challenge cuts especially deep for the HR professional. Many are now asking: How on earth can we implement our strategic initiatives without the budget and ‘buy in’ of the key decision makers?

Now more than ever, the answer lies in your capacity to influence.

The latest research from Harvard University’s ‘think tank’ on negotiation and influence (The Harvard Negotiation Project) has identified a number of fundamental sources of influence. The most effective HR professionals are able to tap into these sources to inspire and persuade key stakeholders to support their strategic objectives. Four of the most powerful sources of influence include:

  • Value – influence based on the benefits to those involved (“what’s in it for me?”)
  • Legitimacy – influence based on the objective wisdom of an idea or proposal
  • Power – influence based on your ability to ‘coerce’ an outcome
  • Relationship – influence based on how others perceive you

Together, these sources provide a systematic framework that enables you to: (i) understand the different influence strategies available to you; and (ii) and deliberately implement the most appropriate strategy in any given situation.

Read the full article: HR strategy: How to influence and engage – Joel Gerschman & Rebecca Stowe – Human Capital Magazine – March 2009

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