The Power of Persuasion

Over the years persuasion has gotten a bad reputation and most leaders do not want to admit that they exercise persuasion on a daily basis. I feel this is because many people think that the words persuasion and manipulation are interchangeable. This is a mistake. The Webster’s New World Dictionary definition of manipulate; is to falsify for one’s own purposes or to manage artfully/shrewdly often in an unfair way. The Webster’s New World Dictionary definition of persuade; is to cause to do/believe something by reasoning or urging; to induce or convince. This clearly shows that there is a distinct difference between persuasion and manipulation.

A good leader uses persuasion to lead their team every day. Due to the fact that everyone has their own opinion, managers need to persuade their staff to do what they say to ensure success. Good leaders do this by explaining what the goal is, and how the course of action that they are suggesting is best. Another part of successful persuasion is to allow the individual to state their opinion. Leaders need to listen to their staff and then work with them to come up with solutions that ultimately produce the company’s goals. Another important aspect to persuasion is to realize that not everything needs to be exactly as planned. For example, a manager may have a per-determined plan on how to meet their aggressive sales budget for the month. But they need to keep an open mind to suggestions when they present the plan to their subordinates. There might be a way to meet the sales budget and accommodate the suggestion of  staff members as well. This is a win-win situation because the manager has persuaded their team to strive to meet the company’s sales goal while still being flexible.

I found an article titled Becoming a Better Influencer: 4 Most Effective Influence Tactics by Eva Ryksmith. The article explains how managers need to have excellent influencing skills if they want to be successful leaders. The author also states that the four best ways to influence others are: inspirational appeal, consultation, collaboration, and rational/logical persuasion. I have provided the link below if you would like to read the whole article.

http://quickbase.intuit.com/blog/2011/11/15/becoming-a-better-influencer-4-most-effective-influence-tactics-part-i/

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