I’ve talked about a communication and leadership in a few of my LinkedIn posts earlier this year. The leader, whether you like it or not, is a communication champion. He champions and to a certain extent masters communication. The reason is very simple – to lead, you must influence and to influence, you must persuade through communicating with your followers.
Let’s face the harsh realities of today. We are facing generation gaps to the likes we have never seen before. The days of command and control leadership is gone. Does not work anymore. Today’s generation requires the answer to the question “why?” “Why do it this way?” “Why do I have to do this?” Ask any any leadership guru, and they will agree.
In this age, leadership requires persuasion and effective persuasion is based on four sets of principles:
- The leader must establish credibility. In the age of information, truth and misinformation is blurred and a leader cannot operate in this region. Therefore, the leader must build his/her credibility through his/her knowledge, expertise, by establishing good relationships and keeping other’s best interest at heart. Credibility leads to follower confidence.
- The leader builds vision, mission and a direction based on common grounds, not based on divisive issues or differences. The need to understand the commonality of all the stakeholders and how it will benefit them and the leader. Common ground is good measure of an effective leader. However, if the leader is unable to find common grounds, it is a good signal that the goals may need to be revisited.
- The leader’s position must be compelling for others. Leaders do not merely rely on facts and figures. Compelling followers relies on an emotional level of engagement by using metaphors, symbols and stories. The great words of Martin Luther King, “I have a dream!” resonate till today and continue to compel people to strive towards their dreams.
- Leaders connect emotionally. If we observe many of the United States Presidential Speeches, we can see strong emotionally engaging words recurring throughout the speech. Good leaders sense others’ emotions and adjust their approach to match the audience’s ability to receive the message. Emotional understanding allows the leader to influence others in positive ways.
Credibility – Common Ground – Compelling – Connect Emotionally. This is my 4C of persuasion.