The Structure of Influence

by | Jan 13, 2018 | Consultants, Emotional Intelligence, Influence, Leaders

Are you sometimes frustrated when good ideas, from you or others, go nowhere?

What do you do when you run up against resistance or just can’t seem to get a response?

New ideas and solutions are needed for problems to get solved, for innovation to occur, for collaboration to grow out of conflict. And yet, it may be difficult to dislodge the status quo or even get a hearing for a new idea. Organizational decision-making can be complex or unclear. A lack of confidence in yourself, your ideas, or your standing may hold you back.

Alternatively, when you do succeed in making a difference, you feel good, and valued, and that your work is worthwhile. Things may not be perfect where you work, but they are moving in a good direction. Influence is a motivator.

Being influential is not merely a result of position power. Influence is a set of skills that can be learned and that need to be honed as you grow in your career.Syntax for Change is the result of modeling and distilling the crucial ways of acting and being that create influence. It exists to help people with good ideas get them across and acted upon.

The meaning of Syntax is “structure.” Our model represents the behavioral structure of effective influence. Learning the distinctions of Syntax helps you also identify the natural “structure” of how you think and act, which determine the quality of your results.

Take something that you would like to have happen, an idea you would like considered, a solution you can offer. What are the first thoughts that come to mind? Here are the seeds of your own personal syntax, the kernel of how you organize for influence. Starting from there,Syntax gives you a process to bring your contribution to others so that they can get on board, make decisions, and take action.

As a launch pad, answer these questions about your idea.

What do I want to happen?

What will that get me / you / us?

How will we know – what specific evidence will tell us – when this is done?

Outstanding influencers can answer these questions for themselves and for the people they want to reach. Knowing everyone’s intention, motivation, and evidence, creates the needed focus for forward motion. This comes from Plan, one of the five Syntax skill sets.

Just recently, I met up with a former client who learned Syntax many years ago. When the subject came up, the first thing that came to her mind was the three questions. This process sticks with you because it works!

When you can answer these three questions for any idea you want to bring forward, your influence is guaranteed to increase. Your ability to influence increases exponentially when you add in the other four skill sets of Syntax for Change, available in our book and learning programs. Your personal syntax becomes supercharged for influence.


Join the influential people who have found out how much more of a difference they can make when they put Syntax to work for them. And today, enjoy the benefit of asking yourself “the three questions” for something you care about.


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