Persuasive Forms of Leadership
Persuasive leadership manifests itself in several forms. Typically the most persuasive leaders maintain styles of leadership that are conducive to methods of persuasion. For instance charismatic leaders and consensus based leadership styles are more apt to employ methods that are persuasive to followers or organizational members. This is in contrast to leaders who are autocratic or manipulative. When leadership is viewed in this way the ability of leaders to persuade becomes intricately linked with the style and methods of leadership.
Leaders employ different methods including rational persuasion, blocking, inspirational appeals, ...view middle of the document...
The public leader who lacks the ability to build trust will be unable to build alliances with political groups or with interest groups necessary for making change.
This idea of building trust goes hand in hand with the second component of persuasion, which is Credibility. Leaders build trust through credibility which in lay terms might seem to be defining the same thing but there is a subtle difference in the terminology. Credibility is the attribute of trust in which leaders build from demonstrating their ability to deal with issues and concerns of their constituency. As leaders handle and discuss issues this shows followers that the leader is capable of meeting the demands of leadership. Thus having credibility means that leaders are trusted in their ability beyond even what they have demonstrated. President Barack Obama’s credibility has been defined across his career in his commitment to healthcare. The President’s view on healthcare has never wavered and his earlier career moves such as supporting funding to healthcare programs positioned him so that when he became president he was able to pass the largest healthcare bill ever created (Casteen, 2004). This was due in part from his credibility with congress and the American people.
Another aspect of persuasive leadership is the concept of common ground. Public leaders share a purpose in seeking specific change persuasion is made easier. Sharing a common purpose unifies leaders with followers and makes the change process easier since there is little resistance. Sometimes the concept of common ground can be as simple as having an understanding of the average person. President Obama shared a common purpose with many followers in that they understood him to be a person who had worked hard to earn his leadership and lifestyle. This is in contrast to leaders such as President George Bush Jr. who seemed to have been greatly disconnected with the common person. This disconnect makes identifying with a leader next to impossible because constituents cannot understand how this leader could possible understand their issues.
The fourth and perhaps most important aspect of persuasive leadership is the idea of having a compelling position. The compelling position is the ability to emotionally and cognitively engage the follower. Whether it is the use of facts or appeals to emotion the leader must be able to present and communicate his or her...