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Influencing Up

Allan R. Cohen, David L. Bradford

ISBN: 978-1-118-03845-1 June 2012 256 Pages


The authors of the classic Influence Without Authority explain the unique challenges of influencing powerful people

Learn to overcome your difficulties with a boss who is uninterested in your concerns, or resistant to giving needed support. Or discover how to win the cooperation of senior managers who are hard to reach, and hard to sell on your ideas, products, or services. In their classic book, Influence Without Authority, Allan Cohen and David Bradford provided a universal model of how to influence someone you don't control. Influencing Up applies those ideas to problematic bosses and other powerful people, with sophisticated tactics for building partnerships with them.

If you're afraid of retaliation or just unclear as to how to change a senior person's behavior, don't stay paralyzed. Influencing Up gives you the tools to bridge the power gap.

  • Offers practical advice about how to turn your relationship with your boss into a partnership in which both parties benefit
  • Explains what powerful people care about
  • Shows how to overcome power gaps by developing more partner-like relationships

Learn what a great partnership with your boss can do for your career—and your mental health!

Preface vii

Acknowledgments xi

PART I Fundamentals 1

Chapter 1 The World Has Changed: To Be Successful You Need to Influence Up 3

Chapter 2 How Power Differentials Blind Smart People 19

Chapter 3 How Power Differentials Give Smart People Laryngitis 33

Chapter 4 Overview of the Steps Required to Access and Infl uence Powerful People 45

Chapter 5 The Influence Model at Work: Moving a Tough Boss 65

PART II Building a Powerful

Partnership with Your Boss 79

Chapter 6 Partnership: The Critical Mind-Set to Overcome Power Gaps 81

Chapter 7 Building a Partnership

Relationship with Your Boss 97

Chapter 8 The Art—and Responsibility—of Helping Your Boss Succeed 113

Chapter 9 Recovering from Failed Talks with Your Boss 125

PART III Influencing Powerful People 145

Chapter 10 Framing Your Change Strategy: Fitting Your Approach to the Players 147

Chapter 11 What Do the Powerful Care About? 165

Chapter 12 Action Steps for Gaining Access to Powerful People 177

Chapter 13 Clinching the Deal: “Exchanging” to Build Trust with the Powerful 195

Chapter 14 The Contours of Change: Dr. Pomahac and the Challenge of Influencing Multiple Senior Managers and Surgeons to Allow the First Facial Transplant in the United States 211

Chapter 15 Influence across Multiple Organizations 219

Additional Resources 231

Notes 235

Index 239