January 29, 2018

Below is a lesson from the Arbinger Institute on the Influence Pyramid from the book “The Anatomy of Peace” as well as our key learning.

The Blue Courage team is dedicated to continual learning and growth.  We have adopted a concept from Simon Sinek’s Start With Why team called “Learn, Share, Grow”.  We are constantly finding great articles, videos, and readings that have so much learning.  As we learn new and great things, this new knowledge should be shared for everyone to then grow from.



The Influence Pyramid

By Arbinger Institute


The Influence Pyramid, also called the Leadership Pyramid, Peace Pyramid or the Parenting Pyramid, helps us move away from and understand a heart of war and move toward and understand the importance and benefits of a heart of peace. We must ask ourselves, do we spend more time and effort correcting those we lead, work with or parent? Or do we spend more time and effort helping things go right? The Influence Pyramid can help us develop a heart of peace and help things to go right more often.

Inviting change in others

We cannot force others to change; we can only invite them to change.

We focus on “correcting what’s wrong”…

When we focus on what is going wrong, we see only problems; problems with other people. We often criticize, discipline or punish other. Does this work? Maybe sometimes — often it doesn’t work long term. Then what do we do next? We correct them louder, and give harsher punishment, etc…

…And forget to “help things go right”

There is nothing wrong about wanting others to change, but focusing on what is going wrong won’t get us the outcome we desire in the long run. The pyramid will help us focus on what really works, helping things to go right.

The secret of the pyramid is that it prompts us to look for solutions to a problem at a deeper level than the one level that the problem seems to be at. The answer to a problem at one level of the pyramid lies at the level below.

  • If correcting fails, I need to look at how I am communicating and teaching what I want – is it clear?
  • If communicating and teaching fail, I need to listening and learning from them. If others’ concerns are not included in my understanding of the issues, why would they listen to me?
  • If I’m open to listen to others’ concerns, but they may not share them with me if they don’t like or respect me. I then need to focus on building a stronger relationship with them.
  • It is possible that my ability to influence others won’t work, not because they are closed, but because they have other people with greater influence around them (parents, friends, co-workers, etc.). I may need to also build a relationship with people around me.
  • If you are not open to my influence even when all levels of the pyramid have been used, something more basic is missing. Of course, it can be that you just don’t like the change that is trying to be made. But it might also be that I am not coming from a place of really trying to help, causing others to be defensive. I need to examine my “way of being:” do I really come to you with a heart at peace?

Just a quick look at what “Way of Being” means:

There is something deeper and more important than behavior; behavior matters and is important, it’s called our “Way of Being.”

There are basically 2 “ways of being”; having a heart of peace — seeing people as people. They have hopes, dreams, desires that matter to them as much as mine do to me. Or a heart at war — seeing people as objects. They appear to be less than me, their concerns matter less, I resist their humanity.







The Anatomy of Peace: Resolving the Heart of Conflict

Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting Out of the Box

The Outward Mindset: Seeing Beyond Ourselves