Here’s how followed by further considerations (“et alors”):
Leading by Persuading
Conger talks about four distinct steps to effective persuasion: gaining credibility; identifying common ground; reinforcing positions using “compelling” evidence; and connecting emotionally with the audience. To complement this theory he highlights the practical side of “four ways NOT to persuade”.
Here’s what to NOT do when trying to lead by persuasion:
1. Hard Sell
An “upfront” strong statement of a position with powerful logic to back up that position is actually counter-productive as it facilitates resistance.
Effective persuaders do not give their opponents a “clear target” at the outset; rather they take time to build a credible case.
2. Resist Compromise
Seeing compromise as “surrender” is not a way forward; rather it should be seen as essential. Others will normally want to see some flexibility and have their point of view taken into account.
Effective persuaders identify common ground in order to build better, more sustainable shared solutions.
3. Use Strong Arguments
“Great” arguments matter, but it is not the full story. Arguments that are too strong fall back in the “hard sell” category and can dissuade rather than persuade.
Effective persuaders use arguments that are compelling which are framed in a mutually-beneficial way and connect on the “right emotional” level.
4. One-shot Focus
Seeing persuasion as an event rather than a process will reduce effectiveness. Rarely is a shared solution achieved on the “first try.”
Effective persuaders invest time to connect on an emotional level. It is a slow and difficult process, but the results are worth the effort.
Whilst, at first glance, it might seem “sales focused”, if you put the above points in the context of people needing to know why they should do something (rather than just what they should do), it becomes apparent that leaders really do need to spend time persuading! Persuasion is an act of leadership by which the leader engages followers to pursue a “shared solution”. In a way it could be one of the defining differences between leadership and management: leaders invest time and effort to persuade people to follow them; managers do otherwise. Not to devalue management – good organizations need both good managers and good leaders – but the “necessary art of persuasion” is one way to improve leadership.