46 - Persuasiveness
Are you an effective leader? Do you have the ability to positively and productively influence your coworkers and associates? Does your staff see you as a credible source? A good leader must have the capacity to persuade for the well-being of the company, the associates, or another good cause. In this sense of persuasiveness, the meaning focuses on the ability to persuade someone in the right direction when they are either misled or are in some way going against protocol or perhaps even a moral code. It takes a skillful or seasoned person to be savvy enough to bring someone to an awareness of a sensitive situation and delicately influence their thoughts in the right direction. This very difficult endeavor embodies an immense amount of finesse, especially as people are being "sensitized" to being "offended" by nearly everything that isn’t self-absorbing. For some people, the finesse may come naturally. But for most people, it involves intensive study by observation, possibly an in-depth study of psychology, mindful awareness, and lots of practice.
Characteristics of Persuasiveness:
- Strength. It takes strength to be able to overlook adversity or criticism of what is morally or legally correct and stand firm in the truth. Sometimes the opposition may become emotionally charged and potentially threatening. Hopefully, this is not the case, especially if you are selective regarding who you surround yourself with. Remain adamant in your position. Never waver on truth; be gentle and cautious in your approach, especially if it is a sensitive or difficult topic.
- Effectiveness. If you are successfully persuasive, you are effective in influencing someone else regarding the ethical or legal truth. It takes finesse and possibly some charisma to be able to present the information in such a way as to prompt the other person to reconsider their perspective and entertain your position. This must always be done nonjudgmentally and delivered with loving concern. The intentions behind the persuasion must always be ethical, truth-seeking, and without any personal gain involved, unless in a lighthearted, friendly, or jousting type of way.
- Credibility. When you are compelling, your word is worthy of acceptance as true and reasonable. Through your past actions, you have built a credible and believable reputation which allows people to find it conceivable that your position is reliable. This increases the possibility of them listening and actually hearing your version of the situation and even considering adopting your position.
- Believable. It is not possible to persuade someone if you are not believable. You must have a reputation of truth and integrity in order to be admired or respected enough for your viewpoint to be considered. When you are perceived as trustworthy, you automatically build credibility, and your position will probably hold value despite being in opposition to someone. Your reputation matters. Always be truthful, trustworthy, and aligned with your values.
- Likable. A persuasive person is generally likable, especially as they more than likely have a certain degree of charisma and ability to "coax" someone in the direction of righteousness. It is difficult to be persuasive if you are critical or aggressive. A persuasive person is most often appealing and respected. The ability to influence will only come about if you are able to relate to the other person and gain their trust. You must be able to let them be heard and acknowledge that you have viewed the situation from their perspective. This engaging personality must be present to create a desire, trust, and curiosity in the other person to open their mind to entertain what you now have to say or do.
- Patience. A popular saying states, “A person forced against their will is of the same opinion still.” Unfortunately, there is so much truth to this statement. Just as you believe you are correct, and you should verify that your actions and beliefs you are promoting are aligned with the truth, the other person likely believes their actions or choices can be justified as well. It takes patience to work through the process of "informing" the other person of the discrepancies between their actions and the correct ones. You are likely to encounter backlash, denial, or even aggression. It takes discipline and tolerance to persist despite the opposition. Through patient endurance, with added determination and even grace, it is possible to be persuasive and align this person with the right direction to proceed.
- Confidence. You must be confident in yourself and your beliefs to be able to stand firm in them and not waver as you are faced with opposition from someone else who also insists they are right. Be sure you are fully aligned with your beliefs and values as you assertively hold your stance and gracefully initiate your persuasive cleverness with others not yet on board. Be self-assured and unshaken as you bravely reach out to them.
“I try to be careful with my persuasiveness. When my heart is really behind it, and when I have no ulterior motive, then I know I’m truly persuasive.” Giancarlo Esposito
“The success of the masterpiece seems to not lie so much in their freedom from faults – indeed we tolerate the grossest errors in them all – but in the immense persuasiveness of a mind which has completely mastered its perspective.”
“The new measure takes for granted having enough intellectual ability and technical know-how to do our jobs; it focuses instead on personal qualities, such as initiative and empathy, adaptability and persuasiveness.”
“There is no persuasiveness more effectual than the transparency of a single heart, of a sincere life.”
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