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Influencing People (Coursera)

This course will improve your ability to influence people in situations where you cannot use formal authority. You will learn about effective ways to build, develop, and sustain a power base in your organization. You will also learn influence tactics that enable you to be more persuasive and influential in working with your superiors, peers, and even subordinates. In addition, you will learn how to build and maintain high-quality relationships to further maximize your informal power and ability to influence others. Importantly, you will distinguish between influence and manipulation and learn how to protect yourself from the unwanted influence of others.

The influence strategies you learn in this course will make you a more confident and influential leader, presenter, and decision-maker. You will more effective in pitching business ideas to your superiors, influencing customers, and building coalitions across stakeholders. This course will not only give you strategic guidance on how to develop and maintain your network for influence and power, but we will also equip you with specific tactics and strategies that are proven to work for gaining power and influencing people.

Influencing People is course 3 of 5 in the Leading People and Teams Specialisation.

In this specialization, you will learn essential leadership skills, including how to inspire and motivate individuals, manage talent, influence without authority, and lead teams. In this specialization, you will not only learn from Michigan faculty. You will also learn directly from exceptional leaders including Jeff Brodsky, Global Head of HR for Morgan Stanley, and John Beilein, Head Coach of the University of Michigan Men’s Basketball Team. We will share with you our research on how to lead people and teams effectively, and work with you to apply these insights to your own teams and leadership. In every course, you will have an opportunity to apply new leadership skills by working through a series of practical leadership assignments. In addition, the capstone will enable you to work on live leadership challenges faced by senior leaders from premier Fortune 500 firms and receive their feedback on your ideas and solutions. Top students completing the Specialization will be eligible to receive one or more of the following: office hours with your faculty, one credit toward Michigan Ross’ Distinguished Leader certificate, a waived application fee to Michigan Ross graduate programs, or a LinkedIn recommendation/endorsement by Ross faculty.

Syllabus

WEEK 1

Building Your Base of Power

To lead effectively, you must have power. Your power can be formally defined, for example your position or job title. Your power can be informal, for example your expertise or charisma give you power that enable you to influence others. In this module, we will explore the meaning of power and where it comes from, helping you identify your bases of power and opportunities to increase you power over time.

Graded: Building Your Base of Power

WEEK 2

Influencing People Without Relying on Formal Authority

In this module, you will acquire a rich arsenal of influence tactics that will help you change people’s viewpoints and behaviors. These influence tactics will enable you to influence up in organizations (e.g., when you have to influence your boss) and laterally, such as when you have to influence your peers. More generally, these tactics will allow you to execute effectively in those situations when you either do not have or cannot rely on formal rank and formal power.

Graded: Influencing People Without Relying on Formal Authority

Graded: Influencing for Positive Results

WEEK 3

Developing High‐Quality Relationships to Enhance Influence and Power

In addition to acquiring a tactical portfolio of influence tools that can be applied in group and individual meetings, effective leaders devote a lot of time to building and maintaining social relationships with various stakeholders. In this module, you will learn how build and maintain social relationships in order to maximize your informal power and influence in organizations.

Graded: Developing High‐Quality Relationships to Enhance Influence and Power

WEEK 4

Protect Yourself from Unwanted Influence

As a leader, people will try to influence you to make a particular decision or take a particular course of action. It is essential you are able to protect yourself from the unwanted influence of others, especially when those others might be attempting to manipulate you in ways that are not in the best interest of your team or organization. In this module, you will learn specific strategies and tactics that you can use to protect yourself and your team from the unwanted influence of others.

Graded: Protect Yourself from Unwanted Influence

Graded: Protecting Yourself from Unwanted Influence

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