The Servant Leader’s Guide to Persuasion

May 15, 2023

Business people shaking hands

When many people think of persuasion, images of sleazy, unscrupulous salespeople often come to mind. While it is true that their methods can be quite persuasive, there are other ways to convert others to your way of thinking or doing things without them feeling as though they are getting ripped off. In the persona of a servant leader, for example, you can accomplish persuasion through active listening, building personal connections and explaining the facts.

What Is a Servant Leader?

Servant leadership is a leadership style that involves keeping the focus on serving others. In the business world, this means your customers. As you make decisions regarding the direction your organization will take going forward, your ultimate goal should always be to better serve your clientele. In some cases, this may mean choosing routes that may not be as profitable for the business but will result in greater customer satisfaction and loyalty. In the long run, this will have more value for your organization than merely picking up a few extra sales today.

Persuasion Through Listening

In order to convince people of something, you need to understand their starting point. This way, you can guide them on their journey to understanding that your perspective makes the most sense. To do this, you’ll need to listen to what your team is saying. Each member of your team brings a unique perspective, and you want to ensure you take all viewpoints into account. When your employees feel heard and understood, they will feel more confident in trusting your judgment.

The Persuasive Power of Personal Connection

Emotions play major roles in the decision-making process, even when we try our best to be as objective as possible. This is why personal stories can be so powerful when it comes to persuading people. When people feel an emotional connection, they experience a more powerful drive to take action, and you can use this power in your favor to motivate your team. Make sure that any personal stories you share are relevant to the discussion at hand, and always ask for permission in advance if you intend to share someone else’s story.

Let the Facts Do the Talking

In many cases, people struggle to make decisions or take action because they feel as though they don’t have all the facts. Try to be as transparent and honest with your team as possible so that they feel kept in the loop. Of course, there may be times when you need to keep some details to yourself for confidentiality or security purposes, but do your best to share as much information as you can. The more informed your employees are, the easier it will be for them to support your way of thinking.

Adjust Your Approach as Needed

People respond to persuasive tactics in different ways, so be sure to take stock of how effective your methods have been thus far. You may need to make adjustments to have the greatest success. Over time, though, you and your team will gain a better understanding of each other, enabling you to continue to work together seamlessly going forward. As you strengthen your company culture and the bonds among your team members, you’ll require less and less persuasion to get everyone on board, as they’ll already be right there with you, ready to get to work.

Last modified: May 15, 2023

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