Horizontal Influencing Workshop

Saturday Workshop: 8:00 AM – 3:00 PMMichael Nir

This one-day workshop is part of the Org Change Leadership Certification program.

It was 9 pm on a Friday and I was at work, my spouse called asking when I’d be home, my boss was all over me.
I had been working on a proposal for 5 months and couldn’t get team, vendor and client’s buy in!
I became insufferable, even Ron, my best friend, declined our traditional Wednesday beer date.
I changed jobs frequently, feeling disengaged (my ‘record’ was 4 hours) until I became physically ill.
After a third round of antibiotics, I decided to quit another position and start working for myself.

Remarkably, my feeling of disengagement was not unique. According to the Gallup engagement study – nearly 70% of employees suffer from work place disengagement- a true epidemic! Disengagement hits the bottom line, it inflicts pain and unhappiness, reduces profit per share, and leads to high turnover!

For over 20 years, my personal transformation journey as a consultant and later as a leadership agile coach taught me to look for patterns in organizations. I have recognized recurring behaviours that plague unsuccessful disengaged organizations. The overarching problem is the traditional approach to organizational power/influence which I named vertical influencing. Unsuccessful organizations suffer from high employee disengagement since they adopt vertical influence patterns. This is true in for profit, government and non-profit organizations as well.

Vertical influencing originates from viewing power/influence as a zero-sum game – a win lose proposition. Where one idea is a winner and the other a loser, one side is right and the other is wrong; In unsuccessful organizations everyone competes to be the influencer, the winner, breaking support communities & leading to disengagement.

On the other hand, I discovered that successful organizations adopt a fresh paradigm of horizontal influencing. Presently, these horizontal influencing structures manifest themselves in lean agile approaches. Horizontal influencing radically changes the way people interact creating engaged communities.

The know how to horizontal influencing includes a set of skills fundamental to building Dyad and Triad relationships; creating a true win-win environment at the individual, team and organizational level. Through this prism, Influence is communication at a deep level, where we relate to each other compassionately and look actively for commonalities and shared goals.

Experience how to create engaged communities together, through building Horizontal influencing.

We’ll discover:

  • Influencing patterns by exploring relevant best practice protocols
  • Collaborative community engagement building approaches through recreating and re-running real interpersonal situations
  • Specific behavioural patterns relate to them and learn how to influence without authority.

Michael’s model of the 4 components to Influence without Authority:(Based on OODA loop framework, developed by John Boyd)

Situation (Observe)
Perception (Orient)
Decision (Decide)
Strategy (Act)

Each component is presented, discussed and synthesized through a hands-on pair or team activity.

Workshop objectives:

  • Learn best practices for leading and influencing without authority;
  • Identify skills you need to create Horizontal Influencing;
  • Explore the persuading and influencing scale;
  • Practice energy/style/behaviors of influencing – push, pull and reduce;
  • Learn the power levers of influencing;
  • Experiment with the formula to saying NO!

Who should attend?

  • Engineers and developers, architects and business analysts required to persuade others in teams and in
  • Project, Program and portfolio managers who need to gain support from business and development;
  • Product owners, Scrum masters and teams looking to further their ideas in a collaborative environment;
  • Generally – those wishing to learn how to perform their job better by enlisting the support of others

What do participants receive?

  • Course slides handout – printed
  • Best practices to influence without authority
  • Pair interaction practices to impact influencing styles
  • FREE downloadable PDF of influencing styles
  • How to Influence a Polar bear – Radical influencing one page summary downloadable PDF


Michael Nir

Michael Nir, President Sapir Consulting US, is an enterprise Lean Agile DevOps expert; known for his passion, creativity and innovation; His Masters in Engineering and, training in Gestalt balance his technical know-how with emotional intelligence.

Michael inspires people and teams to change, experientially and emotionally, while climbing the hill AND reaching the summit.

The author of ten books on influence, consumer experience, and agile management, Michael delivers practical skills gained from years of experience leading change at global organizations in diverse industries.