The Art of Persuasion:
How Leaders Persuade Us

How is it that some leaders persuade people to go above and beyond? And, why do some CEOs fail to inspire such dedication and loyalty? I believe it comes down to the initial requirement of unity and engagement

Great leaders unify and focus people with a common purpose and goal. They paint a vivid picture of where they want to go (their goal) through a simple, powerful vision statement, and define their purpose with a clear mission statement. But without buy-in from their people, all the magnificent wording of statements, all the splendid planning and budgeting is for naught. The ideas fail before they can be implemented.

Success is possible only when everyone is on the same page at the outset, supporting each other, believing in the mission and the vision. Gone are the days when mandated edicts are willingly adopted.

In my work as a coach, I have seen companies handicapped when employees are not engaged in the basic mission. Unfortunately, three out of five employees don’t know what principles or purpose their company upholds, according to a Gallup report. This lack of assurance leads to another Gallup survey finding that four out of five employees strongly disbelieve their leaders have set a clear direction for their organization’s future.

The Great Disconnect

Why is there such a disconnect between leaders and their people when it comes to their company’s direction? Two possible causes emerge:

  • Leaders may not be communicating what their people need to know, or may not be communicating it effectively.
  • The employees may be disinterested or unwilling to understand what they’ve heard.

Most employees I speak with agree that they and their coworkers care about their future and the company they work for. They also indicate how they make every effort to understand the information their leaders pass on to them about their company’s current state and where they may be heading. The have a vested interest.

The likely cause for the disconnect employees feel about their employer is that they are not sufficiently informed by their leaders. When all is considered, communication is the essential element in the management of an organization.

People want the assurance that their future is stable; it’s in good hands, and their careers are safe. Persuasive leaders understand this. They engage employees by ensuring their needs are considered in the planning process, and that communications start with why, pointing out the benefits to employees.

What do you think? Is leadership in your organization persuasive? Do your employees feel they are sufficiently informed by their leaders? I’d love to hear from you. You can call me at 704-827-4474; let’s talk. And as always, I can be reached here or on LinkedIn.

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