Mastering Workplace Relationships: Strategies for Professional Impact

Group of Executive Education students talking at a table

Why Influence and Persuasion?

Being effective at influencing diverse stakeholders is a critical component of being an effective leader. You influence others when you drive change, present your ideas to your superiors or peers, negotiate a deal, or sell your products or services. In many situations, the reach of your formal authority--your job rank and title--is limited. The reach of formal authority is becoming even more limited in contemporary organizations, which are flatter, more cross-functional, and increasingly populated by generations who are less receptive to formal titles. 
Consider the following questions:

  • How much influence do you have at work? Do your colleagues, partners, and customers pay attention to your ideas? Can you get things done without relying on formal authority?
  • Would you like to be more effective in influencing a diverse workforce, which is increasingly less responsive to formal authority?  
  • Do you need to be more effective in influencing stakeholders beyond your organization: investors, customers, suppliers, distributors, partners, or competitors?
  • Do you need to be more effective at influencing your superiors?

This course will allow you to achieve leadership development in a way that is more effective, less expensive, and automatically leads to organizational improvement. And, because it is in an online format, you can easily make it available to your team or organization so that they, too, can be more effective leaders.


  • Watch, learn, practice, and receive feedback on over 30 evidence-based influence techniques with a unique online simulation.
  • Flexible content delivery allows you to complete the course at your pace and schedule.
  • High-quality learning from your peers through group discussions.
  • Take-away course influence toolkit to develop effective influence habits.
  • Learn from Michigan Ross, #1 Executive Education Provider in North America, Financial Times, 2022.

Executive Package benefits include:

  • Feedback from Michigan Ross faculty on your applied learning.
  • Engage with Michigan Ross faculty, Maxim Sytch, in a one-hour personalized executive session to gain deeper insights into your assessment results.

Who Should Attend
  • Leaders at all levels and functions
  • Employees in customer-facing, boundary-spanning, and cross-functional roles
  • People seeking a unique, sustainable leadership development experience
  • Teams seeking extraordinary results due to enhanced influence 

Program Structure

This four-week online course features a proprietary simulation developed by renowned Ross faculty, Professor Maxim Sytch. This simulation is designed to give you a robust and highly personalized learning experience. The program also allows you time to reflect on and apply influence techniques. 


Learn how to establish authority and validate your ideas, as well as structure discussion and decision procedures to maximize influence. Understand how to effectively frame your arguments and how to counter unwanted influence.


Learn how to deliver persuasive and memorable arguments, relate to your audience, and leverage non-verbal influence techniques. Practice applying influence skills in situational challenges.


Learn how to build and leverage relationships for sustained influence and navigate stakeholder power in driving initiatives. Navigate the challenges of influence and building relationships in the face-to-face and remote (digitally mediated) scenarios.


Learn from the best practices of leaders and develop skills to practice ethical influence. Develop lasting influence habits.


After successful program completion, you will earn 1 credit toward the Distinguished Leader Certificate from Michigan Ross Executive Education.

  • Become a more effective leader within your organization
  • Exert influence in situations when you do not have formal authority
  • Acquire concrete skills to maximize your influence with superiors and peers, as well as customers and external partners
  • Learn how to protect yourself from the unwanted influence of others

I already considered myself to be very strong in interpersonal skills, but this course really opened my eyes to some techniques to help me better negotiate both in business and in life. Even as an experienced salesperson, this skill set does not come naturally, but once I implemented the skills from this program, I improved in both business and life.

This course gives you the tools to be heard in your work, no matter what your role is. I am less stressed at work. I feel I have a better connection with people, especially those who differ from me in many fundamental ways.

Professor of Management and Organizations
Management and Organizations Faculty Doctoral Coordinator

Faculty Thought Leadership
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Tuition & Fees

Tuition covers access to the Influence course content, simulation, and related activities. This is a self-guided journey, however, faculty and/or executive coaches are available for additional fees to guide within the virtual environment, or for additional online executive coaching sessions. If you would like to engage a faculty feedback, receive a 1:1 personalized executive faculty coaching, or would like to experience this program with your team, please contact: or +1.734.763.1000.

Professional Package core pricing is $2,000. Upon completing the core course and simulation, you will receive an assessment evaluating your Influence and Persuasion scores. You can also compare yourself with other members of your cohort.

Executive Package pricing is $2,000 (Core program) + $800.00 (Executive Package). In addition to the self-assessment detailed in the Core Program, you have the option to add a personalized feedback experience with Professor Sytch to review your individual Influence and Persuasion assessment scores. You will also have a one-hour live 1 on 1 coaching session to better understand the meaning behind your scores and to answer any questions about influence and persuasion. The Executive Package is taken in tandem with the Core Program, and registration must be approved. If you are interested in the executive package, please contact

Program Discounts may be available for selected programs; contact us for specific details. Program registration closes 5 business days prior to the program start date. The fee must be paid in full in US dollars (net of any tax) before access to the platform can be granted.