We define leadership as a collective social process leading to direction, alignment, and commitment toward the organization’s goals. In reality, groups or teams consist of individual people with different values, needs, visions, and agendas. As we convince and persuade others around us - bosses, peers, direct reports, superiors, partners, clients, vendors, other divisions - influence is occurring continuously at the workplace. Without persuasion skills, a leader cannot make his or her vision take place.
Influence comes from the Latin word 'influere', meaning to flow into. Influence is the ability of a person or leader to affect, to shape, or to transform the opinions (convincing) and the behaviors or actions (persuading) of other people without necessarily having formal authority over them. Influencing is personal power, independent of one’s positional power. Persuasion skills allow a leader to get things done and to achieve desired outcomes without coercion.
Influence is something we learn in childhood. It takes place in families, among friends, in communities, at the workplace, and in society more broadly. An average person influences 100 or more people a day. Our research shows that influencing is one of the four critical leadership competencies for every leader at every level in the organization
Persuading people is important because you are allowing your view of the world to be transferred onto someone else, it is the expansion of the mind done using different senses to ensure that your point will be getting across, this is used for two different reasons, to either convince someone that they should see something differently or to convince them to purchase an item that ultimately they need or could better their lives.
Being good at persuasion is something that everyone should know how to do, whether you are a salesman or are a full-time mother, the reason this personality trait is so appealing is due to the ability and control that you hold by using it in everyday situations, it can also be called charming or you might have heard others call it, fast-talking, no matter what you know it as, if you do not bear this trait it is something that you should start working on, now.
Outcomes of Influencing
Influence is an essential part of leadership. The position of a leader in an organization and the power it gives are not enough to motivate or inspire people. A leader promotes or sells their ideas or the ideas of those that they represent. This is particularly important in today’s organizations, which have become less hierarchical and less dependent on individual heroes.
The outcomes of influencing are commitment, compliance, or resistance.
· Commitment: Leaders with developed persuasion skills achieve their goals more effectively. Influencing then results in commitment, which means voluntary support. This goes with a lower need for monitoring, a higher sustained effort over time, a better focus on a shared goal, and improved interpersonal relations.
· Compliance: If a leader’s persuasion skills are less effective, people become compliant. Their attitude and mindset do not change. Consent can lead to higher productivity for well-defined tasks but does not unleash the full potential of engagement and creativity of the talent.
· Resistance: If persuasion skills not effective, the result is resistance either by obstructing or sabotaging, by asking a higher authority to overrule the leader, by attempting to persuade the leader to renounce his or her idea, by looking for excuses, or by pretending to comply (false compliance).
Influencing Tactics: The Head, The Heart, The Hand
There are different ways that a leader can influence the behaviors and opinions of others: through facts and logic, through appeals to values and beliefs, or through the support of them.
We have found that leaders can influence by applying three types of tactics: logical, emotional, and cooperative. These persuasion skills and tactics do not harm relationships when they are used.
The Head: Logical influencing tactics address people in a rational or intellectual way. Arguments and information such as facts and figures are brought forward in the best interest of the organization, the team, or the person.
The Heart: Emotional influencing tactics connect the communication or decision to a person’s feelings of well-being or a sense of belonging. The leader’s persuasion skill appeals to attitudes, values, a common purpose, ideals, and beliefs through inspiration or enthusiasm.
The Hands: Cooperative influencing tactics involve seeking advice and offering assistance. The leader reinforces the connection that they have with the others. Collaborating to accomplish a mutually important goal extends a hand to others.
Each person has a preference for how they would like to be influenced. Selecting the best influence tactic is important to achieve the desired outcome with a person or group. Effective leaders understand the way others want to be influenced and apply the right tactics to build alignment and commitment. Leaders who combine the three persuasion skills and tactics are likely to be evaluated as better performers.
Essential Persuasion Skills
Effectively engaging the Head, the Heart, and the Hands across the many people and situations that a leader encounter requires using a diverse set of persuasion skills. To shape direction, alignment, and commitment through interactions with others, leaders must be skilled in six areas:
1. Understanding and navigating organizational politics: Organizations have formal and informal structures. Understanding and effectively navigating through complex political situations require political insight. Leaders adjust to the reality of corporate politics and are sensitive to how the organization functions.
2. Creating visibility: To create new opportunities, effective leaders stand out and get noticed by others while staying authentic. They are careful to allow their team members to shine while not over-promoting themselves.
3. Building and maintaining personal trustworthiness: Leaders ask others to take risks along with them. Therefore, people must believe in the leader and their leadership. Leaders must show integrity and be widely trusted.
4. Leveraging networks: Forming and nurturing a network of relationships is invaluable in today’s interconnected world. Networking allows leaders to generate new experiences, develop persuasion skills, and to tap into the skills and vision of others.
5. Clear communication: Writing and speaking clearly and briefly and applying a variety of communication styles helps leaders to get the message across and to ensure the right impact.
6. Motivating others: By motivating others, leaders create a climate in which people become engaged and empowered. Leaders understand the needs, styles, and are the motivators of others. Leaders will like working with those people who will be more receptive to their influencing.
The ten obstacles to successful persuasion are:
Thinking that you are better at persuasion than you are, and therefore failing to hone your skills. Instead, take a long, hard look at yourself, and see where your skills need to be improved.
Trying too hard to persuade. Seeming too keen probably puts people off faster than anything else.
Failing to put in the effort required to get what you want. Nothing, or at least not much, is free in this world.
Talking too much. Stop, and just listen to the people you need to persuade.
Providing too much information, which just confuses people, and makes them think you are trying to blind them with science. What they ask, are you telling them?
Getting desperate. Like insincerity, people can spot fear at a distance, and do not like it.
Being afraid of rejection. This can even stop people from trying to persuade in extreme cases.
Not being prepared. You cannot ‘wing it’ every time. Your audience will see through you and will think that you value your time more highly than theirs.
Making assumptions about your audience, and then not being prepared to reassess when new evidence emerges.
Forgetting that the whole conversation is important. You need to engage in order to persuade, right from the beginning.
The elements of successful persuasion are keeping promises, being reliable and taking responsibility, being sincere, genuine, and honest, knowing their subject, and believing in it, building rapport, and being entertaining, as well as not arguing and providing solutions that work.
The key skills for successful persuasion, then, are pretty wide. First of all, successful persuaders tend to have high self-esteem and good emotional intelligence. They really believe that they will succeed.
Persuasion, like determination or charisma, is a “soft skill” for many people - one that is often an innate personality trait.
However, the art of persuasion can certainly be improved with the right training. Many sales programs offer on-the-job training in how to perfect your powers of persuasion.As usual, we remind you to take your Memo Plus Gold daily. It will help to keep you alert and mentally sharp. For more information or to order for Memo Plus Gold, please visit : https://oze.my.
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