I was hosting a finals study session yesterday for my students, and a student had a question about strong vs. weak influence tactics in organizations. I answered the question, and then meandered off on a point when I should have just totally stopped instead.
I said, "Compare it to child behavior and punishment. If your child does something wrong and you spank them, the behavior stops but your punishment isn't all that great because you just used a strong influence tactic and the behavior isn't likely to extinguish. Compare that to holding the child back from crossing the street, and kneeling down and explaining to them why they shouldn't do that. That's a weak (but good) influence tactic. You are more likely to empower the child to "do good," than to scare them into not doing bad. Same thing in organizations. If you want to empower an employee, you would want to sit them down and tell them why their behavior isn't correct and what they can do to improve. That's a weak influence tactic because you aren't standing there yelling in their face for a mistake -- that'd be a strong influence tactic. And if you really were comparing this to child behavior and ineffective influence tactics, you couldn't spank your employees. You'd so get arrested, and then, suddenly, someone else has learned a very different lesson. HOW NOT TO GET ARRESTED IN THE WORKPLACE."
I just felt myself going there and I...just...couldn't...help...myself. The students all cracked up, so it was totally worth it.