The Influence Model®

The origin of the Influence Model®

Influential people have the ability to ‘read’ a situation when it unfolds itself. They think about the different ways of responding to the situation, then use the behaviour that achieves the best result for everyone involved. You are influential when you can apply the right style of communication in the right situation.

During the Positive Power and Influence® Programme you will learn about four different influence styles. These styles are part of the Influence Model®. This model was created in the seventies by Harvard prof. dr. Roger Harrison and prof. dr. David Berlew. They were triggered by the question why the success of people with similar backgrounds varied. To get an answer they observed the different ways people were influencing others in real life practice. From these observations they created the unique Influence model®. 

We distinguish four styles of influence:

1. Persuading | push style
2. Asserting | push style
3. Bridging | pull style
4. Attracting | pull style

People often use different styles mixed together and the impact of their message gets lost in that combined with the mismatch between verbal & non-verbal behavior.

For example: if I want to make a clear statement while smiling, the recipient of this communication can be mixed up about the importance of my message.

To use the influence styles effectively you must be congruent in choice of words, facial expression, intonation and body language.

About the Influence Styles


This style is used when you and your conversational partner are looking for the best solution to a problem. Subject is key. Someone who applies this style has full focus on the goal and knows all the necessary facts supporting their proposal. Using Persuading, a good preparation equals half the work. Persuading is a style that you often see in discussions, where you convince others by making a proposal, validating it with relevant arguments. If you apply this style effectively, you’re open to the opinions of others and you’ll be able to build a successful proposal together. In this style there is no room for personal feelings.

Read more about Persuading.


Apply this style if you want to address someone’s behaviour. Leave little room for discussion doing that. A deal is a deal. You tell people what you expect of them in no uncertain terms. You stand up for your own boundaries, norms and values and you’re always honest. Others appreciate your clear form of communication.
The style of Asserting is influential because people know what they can expect working together, and they can count on you. If you are too friendly or too dominant, you will face resistance. Reconciliation with your conversation partner is very important.

Read more about Asserting.


Bridging is very suited for making contact. When you use the Bridging influence style, people often experience you as a good conversational partner. You involve others, are a great listener, and you’re sincerely empathetic. Moreover, you gain trust by being open about your own feelings or uncertainties. This makes you strong in removing any resistance or hindrances from others. You are influential through the connection you make with people.

Read more about Bridging.


Attracting is used when you want to stir up positive energy from others. You’ve got a vision, a point on the horizon. By creating a feeling of “we are in this together” and painting an attracting picture of the future, you inspire others and get them to move in the desired direction.
To know the difference between these styles and consciously using them, depending on the person and the context, makes you more effective in influencing others. In the program we work with you to gain knowledge on the Influence Model®. By practicing the different influence styles, getting feedback on whether being congruent or not and experimenting with the different influence styles, you will become more and more influential.

Read more about Attracting.