I still remember that day vividly. It was the best Friday of my life.
The boss calling me into his cabin and handing over my promotion letter.
It was my first entry into the manager’s world. I was happy and elated beyond words.
It seemed as if the Gods have themselves come down on earth, and blessed me to make all my dreams come true!!!
Then, it started going downhill from that point on, within one month.
Life became one big running hell. My team refused to listen to me. Constant imbroglios deteriorated my relationship with them.
My client started treating me like a Doormat, to just wipe the feet and put the blame on.
Even my Cherished Boss started ignoring my pleas for Help.
The office got to my nerves and the nerves reached my Home. I lost both my personal and professional lives.
All my efforts seem to go down the drain.I ran out of options to take control of the situation.I knew I had a leadership limitation,but had no idea ,how to surmount it.
Then one Sunday, when I was waiting with Dread, for yet another Monday Morning, I got the solution to all my problems from BLAISE PASCAL.
Here is How -:
Blaise Pascal was a French mathematician, physicist, inventor, writer and Catholic theologian. He was a child prodigy who was educated by his father, a tax collector in Rouen. Pascal’s earliest work was in the natural and applied sciences where he made important contributions to the study of fluids, and clarified the concepts of pressure and vacuum by generalizing the work of Evangelista Torricelli.
Besides his scientific contributions, no many know that he was the world’s first psychologist. Centuries before, experimental psychology was even considered as a science, Pascal had already written treatises on leadership effectiveness and how Leaders can use the “ART OF PERSUASION” to their greatest advantage. According, to Pascal, persuading skills are very vital for any leadership role and leaders lacking this skill can never succeed in their objectives.
Pascal’s persuasion Technique can be broken down into the following 3 steps-:
Step 1- Listen to the Other Person Without INTERRUPTING.
Listening is the most important skill that needs to be cultivated by any Leader. Listening becomes even more important when we are persuading someone to our point of view. An effective leader only acts after he has completely finished listening to the other person.
This not only creates respect for the leader, but also prevents the conversation from ending in stalemate or argument. Listening also helps to defuse the other person from his quarrelsome and argumentative mode and clears his mind from negative bias.
Step 2 — Point out all ways in which they are CORRECT
Once listening is done, it is time for the leader to act.
Pascal suggests that before disagreeing with someone, first point out the ways in which they’re right.
He says. “If I immediately start to tell you all the ways in which you’re wrong, there’s no incentive for you to co-operate. But if I start by saying, ‘Ah yeah, you made a couple of really good points here, I think these are important issues,’ now you’re giving the other party a reason to want to co-operate as part of the exchange. And that gives you a chance to give voice your own concerns about their position in a way that allows co-operation.”
Using the above approach not only lowers the defenses of the other person, but also creates a congenial atmosphere for persuasion to take place. Positivity helps the conversation to veer towards the planned objective.
Step 3 — Lead them to DISCOVER a Counterpoint.
Now you have a healthy conversation going, it is time to bring the other person “AROUND”.
Pascal Says “People are generally better persuaded by the reasons which they have themselves discovered than by those which have come into the mind of others.”.
In simple terms, lead people in the conversation to the point, where they can discover the FLAWS in their own argument. It is an inherent tendency of any human to believe his “OWN” words, rather than the words put in his mouth by someone else.
Direct the conversation to achieve, what you desire from the mouth of the other person only. This not only gives an incentive for the other person to co-operate, but also gives a Face-saver opportunity to avoid embarrassment and failure.
Bringing it All Together
Pascal’s advice saved both my personal and professional lives. I improved on my new found strength and gradually became a master of persuasion. Today my team respects me, my client appreciates my competence and my boss consults me in every decision. I have finally become a LEADER in the true sense.
Being a GREAT leader is much more than being “AN EXPERT” in your job. Leadership finally boils down to persuasion, presentation and people skills IN THAT ORDER. Not brute force but only persuading your people and then trusting your people can make you the KING in the Leadership world.
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About the author-:
Ravi Rajan is a global IT program manager based out of Mumbai, India. He is also an avid blogger, Haiku poetry writer, archaeology enthusiast and history maniac. Connect with Ravi on LinkedIn, Medium and Twitter.
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Originally published at medium.com