Monday, November 26, 2012


Persuade, beg, threaten or force. When you lead people, which of these techniques do you most often employ? And which one works best? And how can you get better at it?

Please remember that when you assume the role of a leader in your business, or anywhere for that matter, your responsibility, your task is to…with a minimal amount of effort and with minimal close supervision on your part…INSPIRE people to willing start and successfully complete things you want done. That’s it. So persuade, is that what you do? Or must you resort to begging, or threatening or forcing?

And also remember this business owner big true fact. You want to effectively operate all aspects of your small business so you can make a difference, have fun, build a great life and become as rich as possible. Deep in your heart this is what you want. And that happens when you are able to consistently get the right things done right the first time and on time and on budget with as little stress and as much joy as possible for all concerned, especially you.

Of course, you must assume the leadership role at times, usually every day. You may have employees to lead. You certainly have customers or clients to lead, so they will buy from you. And resorting to begging, threatening or forcing in order to get someone to buy from you is never effective. Effective leaders persuade, they don’t beg or use threats or force.

No choice.

An ineffective leader either does not get people to do anything he wants and, therefore, feels frustrated and probably sad or angry a lot of the time. Or he must resort to begging or threatening or force to have his wishes carried out. And if he does that, then he must constantly closely monitor those he would lead or, upon noticing that he has left the scene or that his vigilance has waned, they will immediately stop doing what he wants done. In the threat or force case, when the intimidation stops so does the compliance. If the relationship is one of master slave, the slave aint gonna ever be happily compliant.

When you lead, the key to being effective is to be persuasive. Persuasion is the skill you must master. An effective leader persuasively inspires people so they willing want to do things he wants done and, therefore, his followers do not require his constant monitoring and attention. He can do other things and everyone can be happy.

Now the question of course is how can you effectively persuade someone to do something you want done? And the answer is simple. You persuade people by using the Request-Plus-Reason technique.

Request-Plus-Reason: By using a combination of talking and explaining and showing and demonstrating, you lay out the specific advantages those you would lead will enjoy when they comply with your request and follow your lead, do what you want. This means you do The Vision Thing. Using words you paint a pretty picture of a desirable future in the minds of those you want to do something.

And the kicker is that then you give them a reason for complying with your request to take some sort of action.

For example, you say, “Buy this great copier today and you’ll be able to make as many colorful beautiful copies as you want for years and years because this unit has all the features you say you want.” 

Request-Plus-Reason, you already do this a lot. You may not think of it as such, but it is.

Here’s another example. You’re at the grocery store checkout line with only a few items and several people are in front of you. You don’t want to wait. So, you say, “Excuse me, I only have a few things, may I go ahead of you?” People look at you and often times, nothing happens, they don’t budge, and with frustration, and maybe a little embarrassment, you have to wait your turn.

But — if you change the words of your request just a bit, to, “Excuse me, may I go ahead of you, because — I only have a few things?” This simple change in your request will often produce a much different reaction. And now, many people will indeed wave you ahead of them. 

What’s the difference? In the second request, you gave the people in line ahead of you a reason to let you move ahead.  You said, “because — I only have a few things.” And this worked.

When attempting to persuade an individual or a group of people to be most effective, you must talk about purpose and mission and results and such…and…if you’re smart about it…you’ll give them a reason for taking the action you wish them to take.

To make Request-Plus-Reason work, your request must be sensible and practical  and your reason must be clear and believable. When those things are present then persuasion works well and leading is relatively easy.

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