Leadership by Persuasion

“Effective persuasion becomes a negotiating and learning process through
which a persuader leads colleagues to a problem’s shared solution.”

—Jay A. Conger,PhDProfessor of organizational behavior, London Business School Author, Winning ’Em Over: A New Model for Management in the Age of Persuasion

As a leader, your success depends upon your ability to get things done: up, down and across all lines. To survive and succeed, you must learn to persuade people: to convince them to take action on your behalf and under your direction, often without formal authority.

Persuasion is widely perceived as a skill reserved for sales and negotiation.
Now, it’s an essential proficiency for all leaders, requiring you to move people  toward a position they don’t currently hold. You must not only make a rational argument, but also frame your ideas, approaches and/or solutions in ways that appeal to basic human emotions.

Discovery, Preparation, Dialogue

Any attempt to persuade may provoke colleagues to oppose and polarize. Because persuasion is a learning and negotiating process, it must include three phases: discovery, preparation and dialogue.

Before you even begin to speak, consider your position from every angle. Presenting your ideas may take weeks or months of planning to learn about your audience and prepare your arguments.

Dialogue occurs both before and during the persuasion process. You must invite people to discuss solutions, debate the merits of your position, offer honest feedback and suggest alternatives. You must test and revise ideas to reflect colleagues’ concerns and needs. Success depends on being open-minded and willing to incorporate compromises.


The complete 1800-word article is available for your use in your newsletters, upon purchase, and includes the following concepts:

Defining Our Terms
Discovery, Preparation, Dialogue
Four Steps to Successful Persuasion
The Importance of Credibility
Frame for Common Ground
Provide Evidence
Connect Emotionally
Virtual Teams
Four Ways to Fail at Persuasion

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