"Persuasion should not be about SELLING bridges but BUILDING them." Mark Myette
We continue our journey through SERVANT LEADERSHIP. This week we discuss the competency PERSUASION.
Persuasion is our fifth principle in the ON Purpose! series. Persuasion, like the four principles before it, is an art form. Like with anything else that involves art, persuasion is one of those principles that have to be honed over time in order to be effective.
Defined in the ever day context according to Merriam Webster: Persuasion - 1: the act or process or an instance of persuading; 2: the condition of being persuaded; and 3: an opinion held with complete assurance;
Defined in the servant leadership context: "Persuasion is seen as a way to convince others, not through positional authority or compliance through coercive tactics. Persuasion in this manner distinguishes the leadership between the authoritarian model and the servant leadership model. Servant-Leaders are effective at using persuasion for building bridges."
Robert Greenleaf observed when faced with a difficult decision, effective servant leaders facilitate the decision instead of making the decision. Greenleaf added the servant leader was persuasive through effective consensus-building.
Consensus building (also called collaboration or collaborative problem solving or "alternative dispute resolution") is essentially the mediation of multiple points of view - which may involve conflict - and involves multiple parties and also multiple - sometimes complex - issues.
So taking Greenleaf's lead, the servant leader acts as a mediator. He/she does not make a decision about who is right or wrong or what the best outcome should be. Instead, the servant leader helps those involved hold constructive discussions by calling meetings, establishing a framework for the negotiation within which all parties agree to participate, and facilitates communication in and between meetings.
So how can someone practicing servant leadership build consensus?
First, the servant leader uses his/her other competencies - like clubs in the golf bag - to help build consensus. e.g. Authentic Listening is required to understand why there is a lack of consensus.
- Lack of information?
- Differing opinion?
- Past conflict / personality clash?
If so, self-awareness - to "steer" his or her strength(s) - authenticate listening and empathy are all needed to understand various points of view to the servant leader.
What's Needed For Effective Consensus Building
The following prerequisites and strategies will increase the likelihood that consensus‐building can be successful in multi-dimensional / complex issues:
No doubt, persuasion - in the form of consensus building - is difficult. It takes time and effort to build consensus. It takes humility and compromise to lead a team through a decision making process. The must-haves for the leader who builds consensus: listen, find common ground, and embraces ideas not their own. If these must-haves can be met, it can be a powerful servant leadership competency that will yield positive outcomes, including:
My best to your quest!
I believe each of us is a gift. I create trusted relationships where individuals, teams and leaders NAME, CLAIM and AIM their gifts to achieve optimum performance.
Interested to Learn About Yourself or Your Team? Mark is a Certified CliftonStrengths Coach and TotalSDI Facilitator and happy to discuss your situation
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About Mark Myette
I believe each of us is a gift. I create trusted
Based out Roam - Buckhead - 3365 Piedmont Rd NE, Suite 1400 (2nd Floor), Atlanta, GA 30305
Can meet at other Roam locations if appropriate: Alpharetta; Dunwoody; or Galleria