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University of Pennsylvania


University of Pennsylvania via Coursera


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What does it mean to be influential? How does one persuade others to pursue a unified goal? How does one leverage power? In this course, you’ll learn how to develop influence and to become more effective in achieving your organizational goals. Professor Cade Massey of the Wharton School has designed this course to help you understand the framework of power and influence and the dynamics of effective networks, and shows you how to develop your skills of persuasion and leverage. By the end of this course, you’ll know your own strengths and how to use them to get what you need, how to gain power and influence, and how to leverage relationships and alliances to achieve your goals in both business and in life.


  • Module 1
    • In this module, we’ll begin by defining influence. You’ll weigh the pros and cons of proactivity and political ability, and find the right balance to get any job done within your organization. You’ll learn different models of power structures and dynamics, and discover the importance of flexibility, situational awareness, and agency. By the end of this module, you’ll be better able to analyze organizational structure, recognize processes within your organization that need improvement, and use your power of influence to optimize these processes.
  • Module 2
    • In this module, you’ll examine social networks and relationships, and learn how they can help you accomplish your organizational goals. You’ll be able to differentiate between dense and disconnected networks, and weigh the benefits and costs of diversification within your networks. Then you’ll learn about both successful strategies and common pitfalls in cultivating a network, and see how authentic generosity will build reciprocity in your networks and vice versa. You’ll also explore coalitions and how alliances between parties with different perspectives can be very effective and efficient in achieving mutual goals. By the end of this module, you’ll learn effective strategies for networking, coalition-building, and leveraging, and will be able to form strong alliances and relationships both inside and outside your organization.
  • Module 3
    • This module was designed to help you develop your persuasive tactics and rhetoric to increase your influence. By discussing historical examples of classical principles of persuasion—from Aristotle to the six SUCCES factors—you’ll learn what makes ideas memorable and be able to craft effective messages of your own. You’ll assess your own strengths and weaknesses in influence tactics by taking the Leverage Inventory survey. You’ll also explore statistical analysis examining the relative effectiveness of soft, hard, and smart power strategies. By the end of this module, you’ll be able to employ a toolbox of approaches to gain power and influence, and be prepared to bring the right leveraging skills to any situation.
  • Module 4
    • In this module, you’ll examine the ethical implications of persuasion and the responsibilities that come with having a powerful leveraging toolkit. By looking at examples of our own unconscious biases, you’ll gain a better understanding of where your perspective and values stand. You’ll learn how to find the right balance in making the necessary tradeoffs while exerting sustainable influence. Through exploring different hypothetical scenarios in the Hard Questions Survey, you’ll form strategies to avoid common pitfalls while leveraging influence. By the end of this module, you’ll have a deeper understanding of the ethics of persuasion and influence, and be able to make difficult decisions that are more aligned with you and your organization’s values.

Taught by

Cade Massey


4.7 rating at Coursera based on 317 ratings

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