Persuading Your Audience

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At some point in your life, you’ve probably been impressed by a leader’s communication skills. Whether it’s a politician, sports coach, or business leader, when someone is a great communicator, people notice. Leaders engage people’s attention and influence them through communications. To be an effective leader, you must develop your communication skills so that your messages are selfless and team-focused.

In essence, a leader’s job is to influence outcomes. But what exactly is influence? It’s the ability to effect change in others. It enables you to lead people’s thoughts, feelings, or behaviors in different directions. It can vary in strength, and comes in many forms. Your leadership message can use influence and persuasion to help you achieve your goals. This enables you to ensure that plans are modified, new assignments are accepted, initiatives are approved, and potentially damaging behavior is rectified. You can use influence and persuasion even if you have no formal authority.

Influence and persuasion strategies

Influence and persuasion are key parts of your communications armory. You can use several strategies to employ them properly. As a leader, you must understand these strategies – even though you don’t need to master each one. Bear in mind that each strategy can be practiced in an ethical or unethical manner.

The four common strategies of influence and persuasion are

  • authenticity
  • increasing devotion
  • coercion
  • compliance

When the time comes to deliver a clear and believable leadership message, you need to bring together all the necessary elements. You have to use your personality and outlook effectively. Make sure your demeanor is correct. Finally, choose the correct strategy of persuasion and influence to use.

The mission of any leadership message is to persuade your audience to share your point of view. There are four common influence and persuasion strategies. These are authenticity, increasing devotion, coercion, and compliance. You don’t need to master each strategy. But be aware that they can all be used in both ethical and unethical ways. When delivering a leadership message, you must bring all the skills you’ve learned together. Then your message will be clear and credible.

There are four common strategies of influence and persuasion.

  • Authenticity – Authenticity relies upon having those you’re addressing believe your words. For it to be successful in a leadership message, others must have faith that you are being truthful.
  • Increasing devotion – Increasing devotion involves gradually getting your employees or peers to become more committed to their job.
  • Coercion – Coercion is the influence and persuasion strategy most commonly employed during a crisis.
  • Compliance – Compliance is the most subtle of all influence and persuasion strategies.


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