Influence is the power to persuade people to do what you want or agree with you willingly. The scope and extent one can influence other people hinges upon many variables such as the respective people’s attitude and approach and the whole situation they are in.
Baker’s 4 strategies of influence look into four persuasion methods according to different styles and different approaches. Baker (2015) considers a push style; which represents a more assertive and forceful way of expressing views, as well as a pull style; which represents a more subtle and indirect approach to persuading other people. Moreover, Baker also considers a logical approach in which the persuader uses proven facts and a rationale behind his argument; as well as an emotional approach in which the persuader uses an emotional approach towards his opinion. By combing these styles approaches, Baker proposes four different persuasion strategies which are the Investigator, the Calculator, the Motivator and the Collaborator. The appropriateness of each strategy will depend on the situation and the individuals’ attitude.
Investigators employ a logical approach towards their argument by gathering evidence, figures and facts in order to support their argument in a logical and rational manner. They are also using a push style in which they use strong arguing points to support their opinion assertively and in a structured manner. A representative example of the Investigator is US vice-president and environmentalist Al Gore who used proven data and evidence to make his point in regards to climate change.
Calculators also use a logical approach as their persuasion strategy but in contrast with Investigators they employ a pull style towards their argument. Therefore, they like to use a more subtle way of promoting their ideas by highlighting the constructive points of their arguments as well as the weaknesses of their opponent’s argument. This strategy is often used by sales people, financial advisors and other similar position which try to sell the positives of their argument while undermining the competition.
Motivators are the ones that use an emotional approach in order to influence others by calling out feelings, emotions and frames of mind. Motivators employ a push style in their persuasion strategy and they aspire to transfer their vision to other people by making them believe in their causes by drawing upon moral, societal, environmental and humanitarian values. Motivators are usually entrepreneurs, PR specialists and advertisers that try to link a cause to their vision by appealing to the emotions of people.
Collaborators are also using an emotional approach towards their argument but in contrast with Motivators they are using a pull system as a tactic of influence. In order words, Collaborators attempt to influence others by encapsulating them in the decision-making process on an emotional appeal. Collaborators are great team builders as they make other people feel engaged within the whole process. An example of a Collaborator is Mother Teresa who inspired others to willingly work with her towards a humanitarian cause.