Persuasion: Influencing Without Authority

Engage with Columbia faculty LIVE ONLINE

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Course Dates



Course Duration


5 weeks
8 live virtual sessions

Course Fee
Course Fee

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What am I trying to achieve here?

This is the first question you should ask yourself as you prepare for any important meeting.

The second question you should ask yourself: Is this a negotiation or a persuasion?

It turns out that negotiation and persuasion are two completely different, but complementary, skill sets. Both are teachable. And both are required capabilities as you strive to move further up the leadership ladder. Chances are you are respectable at these skills, having achieved a certain level of success in your career to reach this point. But to reach the next level and be effective in those leadership roles, it’s the mastery of communication that moves the needle.

About Columbia Business School Executive Education's Live Online Programs

Now, more than ever, executives need the knowledge and insights to help them adapt to change and solve complex problems. Columbia Business School Executive Education offers executives and organizations a variety of approaches, programs, and means to excel. But delivering learning with real-time impact isn't new to Columbia. And as the business world has evolved, we have applied new best practices to continuously improve the experience.

With our live online programs, we are taking select in-person programs and are translating them to a fully live and virtual format, delivering the same interactive sessions with faculty and real-time application of knowledge you would experience in person.

Reserve your seat early for Columbia Business School Executive Education's online global classroom, as spots are limited.

This Program's Live Online Experience

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Two 90-Minute Live Sessions with Faculty per Week

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Personal Feedback on Your Persuasion Techniques

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Individual Assessment of Your Social Style

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Dedicated Program Support Team

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Mobile Learning App

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Peer Learning and Feedback

Who Should Attend

Persuasion (Live Online): Influencing Without Authority is especially suitable for those who find they need to be more effective building consensus and influencing those over whom they do not have formal authority across levels, functions, and industries.

Executives who need to promote their agenda in an atmosphere that does not permit giving orders, who need to "manage up," and those who need to drive change, both one-on-one and across organizational boundaries, will also benefit from this program.

Columbia Business School Alumni and up to four of their colleagues are eligible for a 25 percent tuition benefit for full-price Executive Education in-person programs lasting up to seven days and all full-price online programs.

"As our careers grow, it gets harder and harder to improve our interpersonal skills, because our authority prevents us from getting the kind of honest feedback we need. This program provides practical feedback for the critical skills needed to advance in our careers."
- Robert Bontempo, Faculty Director

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Participant Testimonials

"The most powerful and efficient program I’ve attended on practical persuasion and negotiation techniques."

— Steve Grewal, Deputy Chief Information Officer, U.S. Department of Education (on-campus program participant)

"I’m leaving with tools that can help me in every aspect of my professional life."

— Lore Gruenbaum, Principal Scientist, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals (on-campus program participant)

"This is a unique program that goes well beyond negotiation skills. It gave me very effective motivation and persuasion techniques to be applied in the corporate world and everyday life. The program is backed up by scientific research and historical data. Very, very useful."

— Monica Ramirez, Regional Director Corporate Affairs at SABMiller Latin America (on-campus program participant)

Key Takeaways

Persuasion is the skill of changing what somebody believes about the value of an outcome or a behavior. Through this program, you will:

  • Develop an awareness of a wide range of persuasive styles
  • Learn the distinction between persuasion and negotiation and when to use each
  • Learn how to analyze the type of person you’re dealing with and how to customize your communication for maximum effect
  • Recognize different types of organizational power and how and when to use each


Participants are provided a number of readings on the psychology of persuasion and attitude change prior to the program. During the program, participants apply the techniques to a personal case, are provided an individual assessment of their social style, and receive an analysis of their persuasive communication.

The session topics are:


• How persuasive are you?


• Overcoming resistance to persuasion


• How to be more persuasive


• The role of emotion


• What kind of problem am I persuading about?


• Persuading in teams


• What kind of person am I persuading?


• Final presentation


• How persuasive are you?


• What kind of problem am I persuading about?


• Overcoming resistance to persuasion


• Persuading in teams


• How to be more persuasive


• What kind of person am I persuading?


• The role of emotion


• Final presentation

A recorded orientation session welcoming you to your online campus will be made available after the program commences. Recorded sessions will be made available on the learning platform for the duration of the program.

Live sessions are held on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9:00-10:30 a.m. ET.

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Faculty Member Robert Bontempo

Robert Bontempo

Program Faculty Director, Adjunct Professor of Business Faculty Member, Executive Education

Robert Bontempo is a leading advisor to senior executives worldwide. He advises on the leadership of organizational change and the implementation of business strategy to such companies as Goldman Sachs, Boeing, Glaxo-Welcome, and NASA. Bob has advised the US State Department under both democratic and republican adminstrations, and has worked closely with the UN Population Fund. His observations on leadership have been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and The Economist, and he has been named by Businessweek magazine as one of the top MBA professors in the U.S.


Example image of certificate that will be awarded after successful completion of this program


Upon completion of the program, participants will receive a certificate of participation from Columbia Business School Executive Education and one day towards a Certificate in Business Excellence.

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Your verified digital certificate will be issued in your legal name and emailed to you, at no additional cost, upon completion of the program, as per the stipulated requirements. All certificate images are for illustrative purposes only and may be subject to change at the discretion of the Columbia Business School Executive Education.


  • How do I know if this program is right for me?

    After reviewing the information on the program landing page, we recommend you submit the short form above to gain access to the program brochure, which includes more in-depth information. If you still have questions on whether this program is a good fit for you, please email, and a dedicated program advisor will follow-up with you very shortly.

    Are there any prerequisites for this program?

    Some programs do have prerequisites, particularly the more technical ones. This information will be noted on the program landing page, as well as in the program brochure. If you are uncertain about program prerequisites and your capabilities, please email us at the ID mentioned above.

    Note that, unless otherwise stated on the program web page, all programs are taught in English and proficiency in English is required.

    What is the typical class profile?

    More than 50 percent of our participants are from outside the United States. Class profiles vary from one cohort to the next, but, generally, our online certificates draw a highly diverse audience in terms of professional experience, industry, and geography — leading to a very rich peer learning and networking experience.

    What other dates will this program be offered in the future?

    Check back to this program web page or email us to inquire if future program dates or the timeline for future offerings have been confirmed yet.

  • How much time is required each week?

    Each program includes an estimated learner effort per week. This is referenced at the top of the program landing page under the Duration section, as well as in the program brochure, which you can obtain by submitting the short form at the top of this web page.

    How will my time be spent?

    We have designed this program to fit into your current working life as efficiently as possible. Time will be spent among a variety of activities including:

    • Engaging with recorded video lectures from faculty
    • Attending webinars and office hours, as per the specific program schedule
    • Reading or engaging with examples of core topics
    • Completing knowledge checks/quizzes and required activities
    • Engaging in moderated discussion groups with your peers
    • Completing your final project, if required

    The program is designed to be highly interactive while also allowing time for self-reflection and to demonstrate an understanding of the core topics through various active learning exercises. Please email us if you need further clarification on program activities.

    What is it like to learn online with the learning collaborator, Emeritus?

    More than 300,000 learners across 200 countries have chosen to advance their skills with Emeritus and its educational learning partners. In fact, 90 percent of the respondents of a recent survey across all our programs said that their learning outcomes were met or exceeded.

    All the contents of the course would be made available to students at the commencement of the course. However, to ensure the program delivers the desired learning outcomes the students may appoint Emeritus to manage the delivery of the program in a cohort-based manner the cost of which is already included in the overall course fee of the course.

    A dedicated program support team is available 24/5 (Monday to Friday) to answer questions about the learning platform, technical issues, or anything else that may affect your learning experience.

    How do I interact with other program participants?

    Peer learning adds substantially to the overall learning experience and is an important part of the program. You can connect and communicate with other participants through our learning platform.

  • What are the requirements to earn the certificate?

    Each program includes an estimated learner effort per week, so you can gauge what will be required before you enroll. This is referenced at the top of the program landing page under the Duration section, as well as in the program brochure, which you can obtain by submitting the short form at the top of this web page. All programs are designed to fit into your working life.

    This program is scored as a pass or no-pass; participants must complete the required activities to pass and obtain the certificate of completion. Some programs include a final project submission or other assignments to obtain passing status. This information will be noted in the program brochure. Please email us if you need further clarification on any specific program requirements.

    What type of certificate will I receive?

    Upon successful completion of the program, you will receive a smart digital certificate. The smart digital certificate can be shared with friends, family, schools, or potential employers. You can use it on your cover letter, resume, and/or display it on your LinkedIn profile.
    The digital certificate will be sent approximately two weeks after the program, once grading is complete.

    Can I get the hard copy of the certificate?

    No, only verified digital certificates will be issued upon successful completion. This allows you to share your credentials on social platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.

    Do I receive alumni status after completing this program?

    No, there is no alumni status granted for this program. In some cases, there are credits that count toward a higher level of certification. This information will be clearly noted in the program brochure.

    How long will I have access to the learning materials?

    You will have access to the online learning platform and all the videos and program materials for 12 months following the program start date. Access to the learning platform is restricted to registered participants per the terms of agreement.

  • What equipment or technical requirements are there for this program?

    Participants will need the latest version of their preferred browser to access the learning platform. In addition, Microsoft Office and a PDF viewer are required to access documents, spreadsheets, presentations, PDF files, and transcripts.

    Do I need to be online to access the program content?

    Yes, the learning platform is accessed via the internet, and video content is not available for download. However, you can download files of video transcripts, assignment templates, readings, etc. For maximum flexibility, you can access program content from a desktop, laptop, tablet, or mobile device.

    Video lectures must be streamed via the internet, and any livestream webinars and office hours will require an internet connection. However, these sessions are always recorded, so you may view them later.

  • Can I still register if the registration deadline has passed?

    Yes, you can register up until seven days past the published start date of the program without missing any of the core program material or learnings.

    What is the program fee, and what forms of payment do you accept?

    The program fee is noted at the top of this program web page and usually referenced in the program brochure as well.

    • Flexible payment options are available (see details below as well as at the top of this program web page next to FEE).
    • Tuition assistance is available for participants who qualify. Please email

    What if I don’t have a credit card? Is there another method of payment accepted?

    Yes, you can do the bank remittance in the program currency via wire transfer or debit card. Please contact your program advisor, or email us for details.

    I was not able to use the discount code provided. Can you help?

    Yes! Please email us with the details of the program you are interested in, and we will assist you.

    How can I obtain an invoice for payment?

    Please email us your invoicing requirements and the specific program you’re interested in enrolling in.

    Is there an option to make flexible payments for this program?

    Yes, the flexible payment option allows a participant to pay the program fee in installments. This option is made available on the payment page and should be selected before submitting the payment.

    How can I obtain a W9 form?

    Please connect with us via email for assistance.

  • What is the policy on refunds and withdrawals?

    You may request a full refund within seven days of your payment or 14 days after the published start date of the program, whichever comes later. If your enrollment had previously been deferred, you will not be entitled to a refund. Partial (or pro-rated) refunds are not offered. All withdrawal and refund requests should be sent to

    What is the policy on deferrals?

    After the published start date of the program, you have until the midpoint of the program to request to defer to a future cohort of the same program. A deferral request must be submitted along with a specified reason and explanation. Cohort changes may be made only once per enrollment and are subject to availability of other cohorts scheduled at our discretion. This will not be applicable for deferrals within the refund period, and the limit of one deferral per enrollment remains. All deferral requests should be sent to

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