“The task of the leader is to get his people from where they are to where they have not been.” Henry Kissinger
We manage things, things like budgets, buildings, inventories, etc. Things don’t care if you are ethical. Things don’t know if you say one thing and do another. Things don’t know if you’re abusing them or not. Things don’t get hurt feelings when you use or trust one of them more than the other. Things don’t care if you care for them or not. Things don’t get emotional…ever.
Human beings have been known to be emotional. A leader interacts with another human being’s life. When you are involved with another person’s life and have any level of influence on it then that person wants to know if you care for them. They insist that you are ethical and fair. They insist that you lead them and in leading them, you must be conscious of the decisions you make and their long term effects. Covid-19 pandemic is here with us, it has shown no signs of leaving anytime soon. It has come to cause havoc and create great distress. Job losses and the frustrations after, loss of lives and permanent pains some people seem to be experiencing are leaving humanity with thin hopes.
As if that is enough, Election Time in Ghana is also here for us to manage. Just as indicated earlier, the period in which we are in can be managed without damages but how about the human beings within the period? How effectively are you gonna lead them? You’ll need power right? You wanna influence people to vote for you right? You wanna introduce a new system for either public or private good and you’ll need people to the corporate right? You have the money, you are holding a great position of power but do you most often get lost in the crowd unable to make your mark? If you answer yes to any of these questions, continue reading.
We are not in normal times remember? The people are still expecting great Leadership even in crisis remember? Frustrations are all over, tempers are high, some are grieving, some are indeed genuinely lost in life and they are looking up for direction. Will you win by exerting force? Can you apply power at all times and get the desired results? How do you win people’s cooperation without the use of power? Come along with me and let’s look at the following.
What is power?
- Ability to cause or prevent an action, make things happen
- Capacity to influence the outcome
- Exercising authority
- Influence is the act of winning peoples cooperation when you do have or do not want to use, the authority to make them do what you want to do.
- It involves shaping the way people feel and think.
The work of the organization is earned out in an environment of power and influence.
Power as a means of influence
- The capacity to produce effects on others
- A resource to influence others
- The protection to influence others
- The energy to influence others
7 Principles of influence
How To Win Peoples Cooperation
- Make people feel understood. Don’t try to force them to understand you
- Sound reasoning makes people make commitments and decisions.
- Trust can win cooperation.
2. Find Common Ground
- Let people know how their needs, values and dreams mesh with yours
- Understand their values and concerns
- See things from their point of view
- Be sympathetic
- Ask open-minded questions, the kind that invites people’s careful consideration and honesty
- Acknowledge the thoughts and feelings
4. Don’t Argue
- The person you defeat in an argument today may be the person who’s cooperation you need tomorrow
- The more you prove them wrong the harder they resist you
- Most of the time, when you win an argument, you lose an ally
5. Care About The People You Want To Influence
- If you value their needs and concerns, they know it and they would try to reciprocate and communicate more freely, speaking their mind and listening more
6. Help People Believe Change Is Possible
- People often know, although they won’t often admit that they need to change, they feel uneasiness sensing that things won’t happen the way they want.
- Show them a better way, but more importantly, convince them that it’s possible
- Don’t just give a solution, offer hope
7. Time Your Request Well
- There’s a time season for everything, especially asking for support, when people are stressed, they are not well receptive
- Reassure them and make them feel safe
Point To Note
One of the keys to successful leadership is knowing what style and behaviour work best in a given culture and adapting appropriately.