UPDATE: See the revised version of this model at Influence Pyramid 2.0.
My last post on the nature of interpersonal power coincided with some thinking I've been doing on influence (which, of course, isn't quite the same thing.) That work resulted in the model shown here, which is an attempt to understand not the conceptual basis of influence, a la Robert Cialdini, but a larger process that begins with a decision to influence, concludes with an actual attempt to influence, and is layered throughout with Argyris-style learning loops.
I. Foundations of Influence
The ability to influence 1) starts with a choice to be powerful, 2) builds upon an awareness of our strengths, weaknesses and capacity to change, 3) relies upon an understanding of conceptual models of influence 4) which we translate into specific tools and techniques that 5) must be tested empirically and repeatedly:
II. Influence Learning Loops
Practical experience leads to learning at ever-deeper levels: 1) refined execution of tools and techniques; 2) strategic application of conceptual models; 3) a more accurate sense of self via feedback and reflection; and ultimately 4) a belief structure that supports our choice to be powerful:
Here's a 3-slide PowerPoint file of the graphics above (49 KB). This model is a rough work-in-progress, to be sure, and I'd be grateful for any feedback and critiques. That said, I do like the way it integrates A) a deeper sense of personal empowerment (or lack thereof) and beliefs about power that support or inhibit our efforts to be influential with B) a more cognitive awareness of our interpersonal impact and the concepts, tools and techniques that underlay contemporary "theories of influence."