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How the Four Styles Use Influence in Groups

The different styles try to sway, or influence, the group in different ways. This can become critical, because every group at an early stage wrestles with the issue of who's going to wield power.


Indirect and Open

RELATERS, whether they're anointed leaders or not, often take on the role of keeping the process moving along. They'll elaborate on what others say and encourage everyone to have their say. They seek to exert influence indirectly by keeping things mellow and moving.

Direct and Open

SOCIALIZERS are more inclined to use flattery or compliments to win over the group and get its members to feel good as a team. They'll often use humor to defuse tension or conflict. They try to avoid a hard line that'll lose them acceptance or recognition by the group.

Indirect and Guarded

Information and logic are the tools of the THINKERS. They like to furnish information that, directly or indirectly, suggests their expertise and experience. ("Remember, I was one of those who came up with the original plan. The rationale at that time was clear, and I think what we want to do here is....") They're the most likely to focus on the "rightness," or logic, of a solution, rather than spend a lot of time debating who's personally helped or hindered by it.

Direct and Guarded

DIRECTORS like to influence others by structuring agendas, tasks, and assignments and, if relevant, use their formal position as leverage ("As general manager for the past 18 years, I've seen these situations develop, and I think....")


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