Master the Art of Persuasion to Unleash Your Leadership Potential

by | Aug 1, 2023 | Podcast

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Master the art of persuasion to unleash your leadership potential. Why? Persuasion is an essential skill for any leader, and you must be able to share a compelling vision and inspire people to change – all without them feeling coerced or manipulated. So, persuasion is what we talk about in this week’s episode of Reflect Forward: Advice From a CEO.

Here are the highlights:

1. Use positive language: positive language is more inclusive and inspiring than negative. While some leaders use fear-based language to persuade and motivate people, it’s not the type of high-impact, people-focused leaders use. Say things like “Here are the benefits when we do this together” vs. “If we don’t do it this way, here is how we will fail.”

2. Know what you are talking about: credibility matters and if you want to persuade people to see something your way or to make a change, you better be knowledgeable about what you are asking them to do.

3. Listen carefully: the power of persuasion isn’t only about convincing. It’s about listening, too. People are more likely to be persuaded when they feel seen and heard.

4. Ask questions: curiosity about people and their motives will help you get to the outcome you want. Why? When you ask questions, you better understand people’s perceptions, concerns and resistance.

5. Be willing to compromise: give and always take matters when getting people on board with a new idea or change. Coming to a mutual agreement is always better in the long run.

6. Give people space: asking people to get on board immediately is unfair and unreasonable. Give them time to process and come to terms with what agreeing, or disagreeing for that matter, means to them. People often need time to process and might have questions or new feelings of resistance after sleeping on it.

7. Follow up: Rather than assume everything is good only to find out people are silently resisting, follow up. And do so proactively rather than wait for them to return to you. Give people the opportunity to ask clarifying questions or express concerns.

To be an effective, high-impact leader, you must hone your powers of persuasion and use them for good – to move your team and company forward. When done well, persuasion can be a leader’s most powerful tool. Go for it: master the art of persuasion to unleash your leadership potential.

Question of the Week

This week’s question comes from a friend who said, “I made a huge mistake at work and feel terrible. It’s causing me deep anxiety. How should I manage this situation?”

It’s undeniable that everyone encounters moments of stumbling or blundering at some point in their professional journey. Your heart races, your hands get clammy, and that unforgiving dread known as anxiety sets in. Don’t fret – mistakes are not your downfall but an opportunity for growth. I share the following suggestions in detail in the episode:

  • Acknowledge Your Feelings: When anxiety sets in, it’s important to acknowledge it. Do not dismiss your feelings.
  • Pause and Reflect: Rather than diving into damage control mode immediately, take a moment to understand the error.
  • Confess and Rectify: Honesty and transparency are essential. Inform the relevant parties about the mistake as soon as you can.
  • Develop a Plan: Analyze the mistake, understand its roots, and then create a clear and concise plan to solve the problem.
  • Practice Self-Compassion: Mistakes can hurt, but don’t let them destroy your confidence. It’s easy to spiral into negative self-talk, but being gentle with yourself is essential.
  • Learn and Adapt: Each mistake is an opportunity for growth. Take time to identify the lessons you can learn from your mistake and use these as stepping stones for your professional development.
  • Consult a Mentor or Therapist: If anxiety is getting the best of you, seeking help from a mentor or a professional therapist might be beneficial.

Ultimately, it’s crucial to understand that mistakes are a part of the journey. They’re not an indication of your worth or capability. So, breathe, believe, and bounce back. Remember, you are more resilient than you think.

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