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Icebreakers

Influencing Exercise

This is a good exercise for practising influencing and negotiating. Participants will also get an insight into their influencing style. Participants work in pairs and take turns to be the influencer. You also need an audio recorder for each pair.

The influencers should choose something that they believe the other person should do. It could be an activity such as:

  • taking up some form of exercise
  • giving up smoking
  • joining a club or society
or buying a product such as:
  • a 3-D television
  • a hot tub
  • a tablet computer
or agreeing with a strong opinion such as:
  • politics
  • education
  • environmental issues
The influencers try to influence the other person in a manner that they would normally use. The other person should be moderately resistant to persuasion. Record the exercise.

After 5 minutes, the exercise should stop and the participants should reverse roles. Again, record the exercise for 5 minutes.

After exercise the participants should listen to the recordings and note how many times the influencer made a statement (gave information) and how many times they asked a question (sought information).

If the influencer gave information more than 5 times as seeking information, the influencer has a strong push style. A ratio of between 35 to 1 indicates a moderate push style, and a ratio of between 13 to 1 is an average level.

If the influencer sought information more times than giving information, then the influencer is said to have a pull style.


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