How Persuasive Leadership Skills Can Up Your Management Game

Good leaders are effective. Great leaders are persuasive. Persuasion is a skill used professionally only by people in certain roles, such as sales or legal. Cultivating the art of persuasion can elevate your leadership skills significantly. 

Persuasion is not manipulation. Instead of just pointing their team down a road and telling them to follow it, a persuasive leader can influence their people to go all-in on a project, a new technology solution, or anything else. Persuasive leadership is all about generating enthusiasm and buy-in. 

Persuasive leadership skills aren’t just for you as a manager - if your team can learn to be more persuasive, they can drive client buy-in and enthusiasm from their fellow team members. It’s actually quite simple to do; it all comes down to a combination of data and appealing to emotion. But first, you need to establish expertise and influence.

The Building Blocks of Persuasive Management: Expertise and Influence

Treating your staff with respect and celebrating collective wins is the baseline for being persuasive, and hopefully, those ground rules are already in place. The next step is promoting your own expertise. 

Being a persuasive leader requires qualities similar to those of a social media influencer. You have to establish credibility through expertise and experience before you can persuade effectively. 

So what does this look like? A bit of subtle team and self-promotion mixed in together. Put together short biographies for everyone on your staff, and make sure each lists their accomplishments - including yours. It’s usually best to have someone else write a bio for each team member, as we tend to underplay our own achievements. Discuss them afterward to hype everyone up about each other’s skills. 

Hyping everyone up collectively allows you all to stand out, and you’ll be seen as spearheading the effort. Plus, these bios can be used in proposals, on your website, and in other marketing materials. 

Once your expertise and influence are established, you can start flexing your persuasive leader muscles.

The Role of Productivity Metrics

Incorporating data into your management strategy can only bolster your ability to persuade and have a valuable impact overall. Insights into employee behavior, performance, and engagement equip leaders with the necessary metrics to tailor their persuasive efforts effectively. They can objectively identify strengths, pinpoint areas for improvement, and devise strategies that resonate with their team members based on factual evidence. 

Utilizing data intelligence and employee monitoring software can empower managers to make informed decisions and foster an environment where objectivity is the guiding principle. With relevant and actionable employee data as their ally, leaders can navigate challenges with precision, inspiring and influencing their teams towards greater success.

Story Time: The Difference Between Proving and Persuading

You can show your colleagues all the data and case studies out there, but how do you get them to buy into a concept or project after they’ve been presented with all of that? Proof is a necessary building block in persuasion, and it involves appealing to the analytical. The final stage of persuasion is more of an art, and it involves feelings. 


Stories, according to this Forbes article, can be a highly effective tool of persuasion. Let’s tell one here” Suzanne has an important project that her team has been tasked with, but it is very out-of-the box when compared to other projects they’ve tackled in the past. They’re doing it this way because a similar method outperformed in another department. Suzanne has to get her staff comfortable with the new methodology through training, but that training isn’t going to go well unless she sells them on the new way of doing things. 

To do that, she brings in a colleague from the department that executed the methodology successfully and asks her to present on the winning project they delivered. As part of the presentation, she asks her colleague to discuss the success of the project and how impressed the client was. It’s the details that only she and her team would know that speak to feelings. Her colleague could simply share all of the data, but without those personal stories only she can share, staff won’t buy in emotionally. 

Creating an emotional connection to the analytical is the secret sauce of persuasive leadership.

When to Use Persuasive Leadership

Certain situations call for persuasive management, others don’t. If you have high emotional intelligence, you can tell what those situations are. For example, if your company has bad news you need to share with staff, that is not the time for persuasive leadership. Rather, that is the time for servant leadership or another more empathic style. It’s best used when something new is introduced to your team. And when deployed correctly, it can pull your team together in a way that just isn’t possible with other management styles.

In order to celebrate your wins, you have to know what they are. Prodoscore monitors productivity and enables employees with actionable data to benchmark their own success. Contact us for a demonstration today!

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