Thomas Jefferson said “It takes time to persuade men to do even what is for their own good.” And so is the struggle of a true servant leader. Persuading owners to approve a special assessment or to support an amendment to the declaration can be difficult for many board members and especially so if they haven’t mastered the art of persuasion. Persuasion is preferred in a servant leader as the alternative is coerced or forced action by owners. By persuading, the servant leader builds all of the other characteristics we are talking about in this series. 10 ways to be persuasive as a leader are:
- Do your research – Know the who, what, when, where and why. Knowing creates trust.
- Know your audience – Know the wants, needs, fears and pain points of your owners.
- Be clear and structured – Whether you are writing or speaking, have an introduction (with a hook), an argument, support evidence and conclusion. KISS!
- Provide sound arguments – Your argument result in your audience reaching the conclusion before you are even there.
- Be clear in what you are asking – Ask for what you want clearly and concisely.
- Use examples – Evidence is critical – they prove your expertise and the value of your action.
- Deliver an experience – Interactivity in the process can evoke buy-in and if you can create emotion it will unite owners behind your idea
- Anticipate the difficult question – Have answers ready. Either as a part of your pitch or during Q & A.
- Practice, practice, practice – Even as a volunteer, practicing your persuasion skills is important. Take every opportunity presented.
- Employ logic, emotion and credibility – Leaders who are credible, real and logical are more likely to be followed.
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