Should New Managers Persuade or Direct?

A cartoon manager is pointing the way to 5 robot workers rather than use his New Manager Training to persuade them to change direction

Sure, you can tell your workers what to do as if they were unthinking robots. But wouldn’t they more willingly do the job if you were to persuade and inspire them? The best managers motivate their workers through persuasion or inspiration so team members actually want to do the job rather than feel they have to.

Here from new manager training is a quick synopsis of four different ways to communicate as a manager and the purpose of each method to better inspire your team.  And yes, new managers need to flex their communication and leadership style to the circumstances and the individual:
  •  The straightforward factsThis approach is used to inform. It is appropriate, for example, when you simply need to advise your team of a change in procedure.
  • The emotional appealWhen an employee is uncomfortable (perhaps because they made a mistake) communicate on a personal level with your understanding and a touch of your own vulnerability.  Be clear, honest and empathetic.
  • The direct “tell"Use this approach when there is an "undiscussable," a high priority issue or specific actions to communicate. It is used to assign responsibility for a task…but done in an unemotional way with no hidden agenda.  If it is undiscussable, do not pretend like it is up for debate.  For example, a recent client team spent weeks debating the best new organizational structure to improve the synergies between marketing, sales and product development only to learn that their boss was unwilling to change the current structure because it allowed him to have the reporting relationships that worked for him.
  • The inspirational messageWhen you want to improve an employee’s performance or change their behavior, speak to their future to illustrate the benefits of change. Inspire them by the bright picture that could come of their efforts.
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