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Followers’ influence tactics

This article discusses influences and impressions tactics for followers to use to develop relationships.

In the previous steps you learned that proactive followers use upward influence and impression management tactics to lead from the bottom and change the attitudes, opinions, or behaviours of their leaders.

In this step, you’ll learn about tactics followers can use to make a good impression on their leaders, influence them, and develop positive relationships with them.

Impression management

The concept of ingratiation is central to impression management. It involves the deliberate using of flattery, enhancing others, or engaging in opinion conformity, in which a follower endorses the opinions held by the leader to strengthen their relationship. However, successful ingratiation requires that followers show sincerity in their relationship with leaders.

Influence tactics

From a followership perspective, influence represents the degree to which a follower affects their leader attitude, opinion, and behaviour. Authors such as Yukl and his colleagues suggested different tactics and behavioural strategies to influence others.

Five influence tactics that followers can use to influence leaders are discussed below:

  • Rational persuasion: It refers to the use of logical arguments and facts to influence leaders and show that followers’ views are feasible and relevant.
  • Consultation: Followers make suggestions to their leaders about improving a process or an activity to gain leaders’ trust.
  • Inspirational appeals: Followers tap into the values, emotions, and beliefs of the leader to gain acceptance and support for a request or course of action.
  • Personal appeals: Followers do favours to their leader to develop friendship and strong relationships with them.
  • Legitimating: Followers can use their personal power that draws on their knowledge, skills and expertise, position power, and networks to influence their leaders.

Reflect & Reply

Please reflect upon the key question below and respond using the comments section below.

Think about your experience as a follower. What tactic(s) did you use to influence someone who was senior to you?
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How to Harness Followership for Leadership Success

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