Inspire, Convince, and Persuade
Leadership expert John Maxwell says “leadership is influence; nothing more, nothing less.” I have spent the past two years traveling throughout the country facilitating leadership workshops. One of the biggest challenges facing managers is how to make their employees to perform up to their expectations. In my experience, I have found managers cannot make employees do anything. While some employees are self-motivated to give their best performance at work, others require more. Effective leaders must be able to inspire, convince, and persuade employees to provide their best effort at work.
To persuade is to show employees the benefits of their actions. This could be incentives or career growth, or could be a benefit to the company, teammates, customers, or vendors. To convince is to show employees the negative effect. This could effect them personally; such as a disciplinary action, demotion, or loss of income, or an effect to a larger group.
Inspiring employees is to be the type of manager to which they want to provide their best effort. Inspiring employees is all about trust and caring. In order to effectively inspire employees, they must be able to answer ‘yes’ to three questions about you:
- Can I trust you?
- Do you care about me as a person?
- Do we share the same values?
Leaders can demonstrate they are a person who can be trusted by ensuring everything they say and do increases their credibility. Simple steps such as communicating honestly and openly, following through on promises, and being accessible go along way in creating trust. Taking time to understand your employees’ needs and what they care about most shows you care about them as a person. Actions and behaviors, in good times and bad, demonstrate values.
Being able to convince, persuade, and inspire individuals is the key to influence. Performing all three effectively will result in higher performance from your employees.