Catalyze Innovation that Advances Health


Defining Influence

Did you know that you practice influence every day at work and in your personal life? Influence is the ability to have an effect on behavior, decisions, and/or character. Although often regarded as an intuitive talent, influence is actually a learnable skill. It involves applying proven principles and techniques that can generate positive behavior, create stronger relationships, improve communication, and produce feelings of satisfaction and engagement.

Influence serves a major role in health care. For example, smoking cessation, medication adherence, the encouragement of healthy behavior such as dieting and exercise, managing perceptions and expectations, communication with patients or colleagues, and organizational learning and culture are all directly impacted by the conscious and nonconscious applications of influence.

The study, science, and application of influence are ubiquitous in other industries mostly to gain market share, to direct consumer consumption and behavior, and to impact sales. However, the field of influence can be expanded to health care to positively impact the health and well-being of patients and healthcare professionals.

The Influence Center Overview

The Influence Center was established May 1, 2015, as part of the MedStar Institute for Innovation at MedStar Health. The Center’s goal is to make MedStar Health colleagues and all healthcare professionals highly skilled experts in the art and science of influence in order to improve health and well-being.

Examples of key areas of expertise, coaching, and consulting that the Center provides include:

  • Patient Satisfaction

  • Employee Engagement

  • Physician and Nurse Well-Being and Retention

  • Healthcare Operations and Workflow

  • Risk Management

  • Quality and Safety

  • Difficult Conversations

  • Learning and Education

  • Marketing and Communication

  • Gratitude and Philanthropy


A variety of services are provided to MedStar Health and to external clients including influence consultations, workshops, speaking events, and professional development product suites.

Examples of workshops and speaking topics include the following:

  • Simple Rules of Rapport and Influence

  • Influencing Behaviors

  • Not So Difficult Conversations

  • Body Language for Bedside and the Board Room

  • Conversation Mastery

  • Persuasive Writing and Direct Response Copywriting

  • Rapid Reframing

  • Non-Conscious Influences and Perception