Elaina Zuker: The Power of Positive Influence in Business artwork
Science of CX

Elaina Zuker: The Power of Positive Influence in Business

  • S4E190
  • 34:53
  • June 7th 2023

Elaina Zuker is the president of Elaina Zuker Associates in Montréal, Canada. She has taught seminars to hundreds of employees and managers at major corporations such as AT&T, IBM, American Express and MCI International, and is a frequent keynote speaker at conferences and industry events.

She is the author of six books on leadership, management and communication. 

Her best-selling book, “The Seven Secrets of Influence” (McGraw-Hill), the recent Main Selection for the Business Week Book Club, has been translated into four languages.

Elaina is an expert on influence and defines it as the effect of an idea or person on the values, attitudes, and behavior of others. She believes that anyone can learn and master the skill of influence, but it must have honorable intentions and positive effects. Elaina also notes that positive influence must be transparent and not manipulative. 

On today’s episode Elaina and I discuss the importance of influence in business, the distinction between influence and manipulation, and the six different influence styles. 

Elaina also shares her program, based on her extensive business and management experience, that teaches practical and usable influence skills to anyone. 

Key Takeaways

  • The definition of influence and how it differs from manipulation
  • The Importance of strong influence skills for salespeople and entrepreneurs
  • Discussing the need for influence skills in arranging meetings with potential customers
  • The 6 different influence styles and the importance of understanding them
  • A poll that Elaina conducted on LinkedIn about biggest challenges in influencing today; with upper management being the highest polling choice
  • The formula for influence and its two components; attentiveness and flexibility
  • Understanding how different departments in an organization may benefit from the same skills


[00:04:34] Influence is the effect of an idea on a person.

[00:09:27] Influence skills for success in business.

[00:16:59] 6 styles of influence; assessment reveals dominant style.

[00:22:51] Helping physicists with lobbying and influence skills.

[00:25:10] Customizable e-learning program with lifetime access.

[00:28:52] Get people in a room; training skills.


  • Influence vs. Manipulation: "Influence is a skill that anyone can learn, practice and master...influence is a power. It's like electricity or nuclear power. And it can be used for good or bad."

  • Why influence is important in today's work environment: "We're all being asked to be more innovative. We're all being asked to be more innovative to come up with new ways of doing things, new cost-effective ways. And I don't know about you, but I have a drawer full of dusty ideas that never saw the light of day because I didn't have the influence skills to persuade somebody to make it happen."

  • The Importance of Influence Skills During Zoom Calls: "If you don't have good influence skills, what are you gonna do in minute 1 of that Zoom call? So that's where influence skills come in. And especially these days, because we're kind of limited, we're no longer driving 30 minutes to go visit somebody for the half hour. We have to kind of make our case over Zoom. And so it's a lot harder to get cues from the person you're trying to influence."

Connect with Elaina

LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/in/elaina-zuker-6173725?originalSubdomain=ca 

Website - https://www.ezinfluence.com/ 

Twitter - https://twitter.com/ElainaZuker

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