Taking part in the adventure of persuading others, sweeping them up into an idea, an unexpected action or an unproven vision, is a wonderful experience. The ability to create excitement all around you is what leadership is about.
Good grief — I like some of what this article says but there is one glaring error: the confusion between persuasion and influence, particularly for leaders.
So what the heck is the difference between the two, why is it important, and what has it got to do with storytelling?
Well — persuasion is getting someone to do something. Parents use persuasion all the time: “Finish your dinner or you won’t get dessert.” Or “Sit Fido and you’ll get a treat!” Bosses use persuasion too: “Finish this report by X date or forget that promotion.” We all use persuasion.
Influence however, is the power or capacity to cause an effect in indirect or intangible ways. Influence is more often ‘showing’ what needs to be done which then moves someone to take action — hopefully in a desireable way.
There are many facets to influence including reciprocity, commitment, social proof and others (see Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by R. Cialdini, 2006).
Leadership at the highest levels is about influence, not persuasion. Management is about persuasion. Confusing persuasion and influence creates leadership that can feel more like manipulation than willing participation.
Storytelling — IMHO — lies squarly in the camp of influence. And leaders definitely need to master storytelling as an way to both engage and influence.
The list this author has created for leaders to focus on to be persuasive is mostly all about influential qualities to imbue in a leader’s storytelling. Except the first one — threats and consequences. Outlining global consequences if an organization does not change can be part of an influential conversation. Threats, not so much. That’s pure persuasion.
Go read the rest of the list and let me know what you think!
This review was written by Karen Dietz for her curated content on business storytelling at www.scoop.it/t/just-story-it ;
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