Friday, July 15, 2011

How Great People Persuade Others

You may have noticed that the greatest people in the world often rise up to positions of leadership because of their mastery over their communication skills. Clearly, proficiency in one's native tongue is an essential key to success. As such, it is wise to learn as much as you can about the best ways to communicate.

One of the forms of communication vital to success in any endeavor is that of persuasion.

Considering many of the World's greatest leaders needed to persuade others to a cause, whether Gandhi, Churchill, Lincoln, or even the negative leaders like Hitler, they were ALL considered masters of persuasion.

Yet, how did they persuade?

I'll give you a quick secret: through telling stories.

Most great leaders were also great story tellers. A story can convey a point better than any other plea. In studying the Chief Executive in corporate America back in the late 1990's, I discovered that almost EVERY CEO I heard speak would use more metaphor and story telling in their speeches than statistics, financial figures, or other mundane details about their company, market, or competition. Why? Because they knew that we are motivated through something we understand and relate to - both on a physical, emotional, and spiritual level.

When Churchill needed to persuade, he spoke in metaphor. Part of what helped John F. Kennedy win election as President was his earlier "story" published about his PT-109 experiences during the war. Lincoln often told stories to his generals to encourage them to noble action. In fact, almost every great movie we view in the theater FIRST starts as a novel or screenplay - in essence, a story.

So, learn to tell stories. Use metaphors, and see if your ability to persuade and lead others does not improve with the growth.

Have you had success through telling stories? Drop me a note and share how!

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