Energy Option: Influence or Persuasion

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The constant energy spent on persuading, arguing, coaxing and convincing others is exhausting.  If these describe your management habits, be aware, they are also draining energy from your audience.  Why not invest your energy instead in the art of influence that impacts, effects and sways others, while also generating the energy to move them forward?  Unlike the assault of persuasive argument, influence requires more action that words.

The actions that fuel your influence are the actions that build your credibility.  Steven M. R. Covey’s exploration of trust-building fosters tangible results in relationships and business.  His reminders speak to what draws people to us – without our use of exhausting ‘begging or bossing’ techniques that are often interpreted as our incompetence or self-promotion.

We are reminded, in Covey’s The Speed of Trust work, that when your consistent actions reflect your credibility, you gain the unquestioned confidence of others – and your confidence in yourself grows also.  There are no shortcuts to this, and to raise the bar to reality, you must target actions that build trust in both your competence and your character.  Covey’s model divides core trust-actions between these two areas of your behavior.

Credibility of Character

Integrity includes those actions that show you live in harmony with your deepest values and beliefs; this requires both humility and courage.  Actions reflecting integrity include making and keeping commitments to yourself first, standing for something you will live by, and showing openness to examine yourself and consider other viewpoints.

Intent is about displaying that your motives are rooted in your genuine concern and care for others; your agendas and behaviors consistently reflect your desire to act in the best interest of everyone involved.  Examining your motives, generously choosing to give credit, and discussing your motives willingly and regularly are some uncommon actions required to display your intent.

Credibility of Competence

Capability inspires trust as we consistently display our credibility through our talents, attitudes, knowledge and even our style of getting things done.  All of these tasks require wise action: it is smartest to know and feed your strengths, to show your relevance with high-value contributions, and stay the course to your vision that will keep your contributions effective.

Results are simply our track record.  They build trust as we get the right things done in the right ways, as we define results accurately, and as others can see us promoting a culture of learning and holding ourselves accountable to grow – even through our mistakes.

Is your energy drained from your efforts to persuade others?  Does trust need to be built or repaired?  Let’s talk about the roadblocks you see and the advantages you could see with increased trust: count the cost of changing nothing.

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THANKS!

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You’ve seen managers who consistently thank their team members for making them look good with “we love you” feedback; oddly their team’s performance is often mediocre.  It takes little effort to see through that messaging and identify those leaders who use gratitude as a bribe to profit from momentary cooperation.  Praise is a fantastic energizer.  For leaders, that energy can explode or implode careers.

Don’t let the poor behavior of others keep you from effectively using gratitude to generate energized results within your team.  You can easily avoid the pitfalls of those who sabotage their own careers with self-promoting platitudes.

DON’T BUILD WALLS

Don’t excessively thank them…

  • for favors they offer that exalt you as an individual
  • for competitive behavior that demotivates their colleagues or the company’s customers

DO BUILD BRIDGES

Thank and praise them excessively…

  • for exhibiting emotional intelligence that clarifies and unifies
  • for demonstrating behaviors that strengthen efficiencies fueled by trust
  • for delivering effective performance toward targeted results

Leaders often gravitate to one extreme or the other.  We tend to either want everyone to love us or to want everyone to follow our direction.  If you realize you are stuck in one of those extreme paths, it’s time to find some balance.  Incorporating effective gratitude into your leadership toolkit is an easy first step.  Contact us!  And find a map to that equilibrium!  It could be one small step for you, but one giant leap for your career!

Find more of what you need by opening our BOX of BLOGS from 2017