The Captain’s voice bing bonged into the silence and calmly informed us to assume the brace position. The stewardess asked us to sit down and brace.
Forty seconds later everyone began scrambling to their feet. An old man blocked the aisle as he opened the overhead locker seeking his carry on. The stewardess asked him nicely, to forget his bag and move to the front of the plane.
Minutes later more than half the passengers who were still on board were informed that they had just died in a fireball as the fuel tanks exploded.
I resumed my seat for another round of this evacuation simulation to assess and train flight crew and emergency response to a forced landing at Manchester Airport.
Officially, I was already dead, having been one of the unfortunates stuck in the aircraft behind that belligerent old man.
In the next round, the lead stewardess was petite and sweetly asked everyone to sit and relax. This time, they served us a typical airline meal and halfway through, alarms sounded and out of the shocked chaos, a shrill authoritative voice penetrated with absolute clarity of no-nonsense follow these instructions. If I mention Bernadette from the Big Bang Theory you’ll likely get an instant understanding of just how commanding this member of flight crew was.
The belligerent old man had to retrieve his carry-on of course, but this time, he swiftly moved forward. There just was no way anyone wanted to get on the wrong side of this lady.
This time I got to enjoy jumping down the door slide and walking onto the rain soaked tarmac.
This time, all passengers “survived” the fireball.
When there is no time for engaging people or asking politely, you can get a swifter response to a clear command. But would you want your boss to use that approach every day?
I’ve had bosses who struggled to influence me well. And I’ve quit more than one job where the boss barked commands and lambasted us with insults as a means of influence.
Influence, like leadership, is situational. There is no one correct style. No one way that works for all people. Flexibility in style is key to being able to influence those you will need to during your life.
But because we are better at influencing people who are more like us, we tend to surround ourselves with people we can more easily influence, and those people, well they tend to be pretty well much like ourselves.
And we miss the benefits of diversity and innovation when our organisations are filled with people who are, essentially, very much like each other.
In this episode, I’m sharing how we tend to surround ourselves with like-minded and similar people, and why that is not in our own best interest.
Then I’m going to share about the two main approaches to influence and lastly, the five main influencing styles and how you can take my Influencing Style Inventory and get your free profile report.
In future episodes, I’ll be sharing how you can leverage your Influencing Style and develop greater flexibility.
So, let us begin by examining our inner circle…