In theory, things like facts and logic may seem like enough to manage others in the workplace. The reality is, people are most often led by their emotions. For that reason, it’s important that those in leadership positions within your property management company develop and nurture skills for guiding and influencing rather than just directing.
When you think about the most successful individuals you know, chances are they’ve accomplished great things not by pressuring others, but by persuading them. If this ability doesn’t come naturally to you (and it doesn’t to most of us), here are five actions you can take to start genuinely influencing others in a positive, productive way.
Understand your audience
If you want to sway someone in your favor, it can be incredibly helpful if you approach them in a way that matches their personality and communication style. For instance, rather than putting someone on the spot in front of his or her colleagues, calling a private meeting might be more effective. Taking the time to get to know who you are trying to influence and how they prefer to process information can make a huge difference in how effectively you can achieve the desired outcome.
Put a positive spin on things
Anyone in leadership knows there will inevitably be challenging times and negative situations. Influential leaders are able to take those situations and put a positive spin on them. For instance, let’s say you have to coach an employee who is constantly making errors. Rather than saying, “You’re always making mistakes,” a persuasive leader would say something like, “Let’s work together to improve your accuracy.” Which of these approaches do you think would get the best response?
Be confident and take a bold stance whenever the opportunity arises
People are naturally drawn to leaders who exude confidence (not cockiness – confidence). As such, if you want to be more effective in persuading others – whether it’s your employees or even your prospective property management clients – you should master the art of cool confidence. Don’t be afraid to take a stand and go against the grain from time to time, either. It will help you stand out and attract the attention of others who are seeking guidance and positive, influential leadership.
Start and build upon small “wins”
If you’re up against a group of people who aren’t in agreement with your stance or approach, you can more effectively persuade them to see your point of view by starting small and working your way up. Rather than jumping right into your end argument, begin by finding common ground that you know your audience is likely to agree with. This will allow you to build a foundation, gain trust and ultimately influence the outcome more effectively.
Choose the appropriate medium
In many cases, effectively influencing others involves more than just the message. It’s also how you deliver that message. Choosing the right medium can mean the difference between a quick ‘yes’ and a wall of resistance. To determine how best to approach the person you are trying to persuade, examine your relationship. If it’s someone close, like a peer or colleague, a face-to-face meeting will probably be most effective. If it’s a relatively new property management client, on the other hand, a well-worded email might make more sense.
What did we miss? In your experience, what tools and techniques have you found most effective in influencing others? Please share in the comments below!