Understanding Your Influence: The Progressor Model


How are you going to influence others?

The first step is reconnaissance. You need a clear idea of where a person stands and what is possible. Battles are won through understanding as much as through power. You need a system of intelligence so you can focus your energy where it counts.

The Progressor Model

Everyone you know fits somewhere on the ideological spectrum from unengaged to engaged. The Progressor Model helps you look at your contacts and see what is possible for each of them, relative to the long-term goal of philosophical revolution.

Everyone you know is either a progressor or a non-progressor, meaning they can be persuaded or they can’t. This is the key distinction. Will your effort be meaningful or wasted?

4 Types of Non-progressors:

  • Avoided
  • Ignored
  • Hostile
  • Uninterested

If a contact is a non-progressor, it can be still helpful to determine which kind they are, as it affects your interaction strategy.

Non-progressor Strategies

1. Avoided
It would be strategic to not tell the ideas. They might start an unproductive argument, so avoid engaging them.

2. Ignored
They may learn about the ideas without consequence.
 As far as the mission goes, they probably are not relevant.

3. Hostile
They know some of the ideas and are opposed to them.
 This category includes many Christian leaders, professors, pastors, and the intelligentsia.

4. Uninterested
They know some of the ideas and don’t care enough about them to hear more.
 This group includes failed leads and friends who show no interest in the ideas.

4 Types of Progressors:

  • Curious
  • Convinced
  • Committed
  • Catalytic

Here’s where the Progressor Model shines: once you know which kind of progressor your contact is, you know the next step in your influence.

Progressor Strategies

1. Curious
They are willing to hear the ideas, but they are undecided about them.
 Help them start thinking philosophically by asking questions.

2. Convinced
They live by the ideas and like to talk about them. Encourage them in the ideas and see if they can help you or can write.

3. Committed
They speak and write to persuade people. Give them feedback and collaboration.

4. Catalytic
Besides speaking and writing, they also recruit others to help them become committed.
 Offer them help in meeting more people.

How to use the model:

List out several dozen people who are important to you, using Facebook or your phone contacts. Categorize them. If you’re not sure, place them in the “curious” category. When talking with these contacts, remember your goal for them. Focus your efforts on the progressors.

In this series:
Who Should We Influence, and How?
Understanding Your Influence: The Progressor Model
Using Your Influence: The Interview Method

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