Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Persuasion: A Key Leadership Skill by Barbara Baggerly-Hinojosa

Photo Credit: Laurie Madden Mire/
Laurie Mire Photography
I have good news for you.  You don’t have to be a slick salesperson in order to be persuasive.  The skill of persuasion is simply the ability to convince others rather than coercing compliance. During a recent seminar I conducted at Texas State Technical Institute, the skill of persuasion was one that prompted the most discussion.  The Servant Leader primarily relies on making decisions within an organization based on persuasion rather than positional authority. 

In other words, you will never hear the Servant Leader say, “do it because I am the boss and I say to.”  This particular element offers one of the clearest distinctions between the traditional authoritarian model of leadership and the concept of servant leadership.  The technique of convincing rather than coercing is one of the most effective ways a Servant Leader can build consensus within groups.

Photo Credit for remaining pictures:
Google Images
Instead of making a big deal about something and telling your colleagues that they have to change, “or else,” the Servant Leader has learned to use a method of gentle but clear and persistent persuasion.  Leadership by persuasion has the ability to encourage change by convincement rather than coercion.  Its advantages are enormous.  Just think about it, aren’t you more apt to make a change if someone has convinced you of it as opposed to telling you that you MUST change because the boss said so?  In order to be highly persuasive, a leader must have developed relationships with others. Effective leaders are able to form bonds with others that result in relationships.  These relationships allow for open communication that lay the way for trust.  People who trust you will be more easily persuaded by you.

A final point to keep in mind is this…effective Servant Leaders who are great persuaders don’t ask themselves, “who can help me?” but instead ask, “whom can I help?”  There are some basic techniques that can help you develop your persuasive skills.  I hope you will try some of them this week and join me on this great journey to become the most effective Servant Leader we can be. 

As discussed in more detail in my book, Are You a 10? The Ten Characteristics of a Servant Leader (2010), the following tips can help you as you develop your persuasion skills:
  • Create Transparency
  • Practice Fairness
  • Develop Consistency
  • Build Consensus

Barbara Baggerly-Hinojosa is a mother, educator, and wife living in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas.  She is a PhD student with Our Lady of the Lake University in Leadership Studies.  Mrs. Baggerly-Hinojosa is currently researching the relationship between the leadership of the high school principal and the high school drop out rate.  This article is an excerpt from the  book, Are You A Ten?  The Ten Characteristics of a Servant Leader.   For ordering information, please contact Mrs. Baggerly-Hinojosa at or like us on Facebook at Leadership Empowerment Group, LLC.  Ordering information can also be found at and Barnes and

1 comment:

  1. I truly like to reading your post. Thank you so much for taking the time to share such a nice information.
    Good Leadership Skills