Leaders Using Communication to Influence and Persuade Others

1. How do leaders use communication to influence and persuade others? Think of someone you have known who is skilled in the art of persuasion. What makes this person an effective communicator?

2. Does the Johari Window seem like a good framework for leaders who want to create better communications among team members? Can you think of potential problems a leader might encounter when applying the Johari Window?

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3. In the 1960s, Britain and France decided to jointly fund and build a supersonic transport that became known as the Concorde. Research the decision to build and fly the supersonic transport Concorde. Then, discuss how the sunk costs and an escalation of commitment affected their decisions.

4. Throughout its existence, Saturn has never turned a profit for General Motors. Research the history of Saturn and GM’s decision to continue funding it (although GM has now decided to close down the auto maker). Why hadn’t Saturn made a profit? Was escalation of commitment in play in GM’s decision? If so, how?

5. During the Cold War and post-Cold War eras, the United States and the Soviet Union have been competing with one another in attempts to gain a strategic advantage over one another. The Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) was born out of that competition. Discuss the SDI and how the United States and the Soviet Union applied the competitive escalation paradigm.

6. Discuss how perceptual bias affected President George W. Bush’s decisions that lead the United States into war in Iraq in 2003. Did judgemental bias play a part in these decisions?

Solution Preview
1. How do leaders use communication to influence and persuade others? Think of someone you have known who is skilled in the art of persuasion. What makes this person an effective communicator? Robert Marcell
Leaders are effective communicators when they practice the art of persuasion by establishing credibility, build common goals, making their position compelling, and connecting emotionally with others (Daft, 2008).
Establishes credibility: Leaders establish credibility as they demonstrate their expertise and knowledge with others. Followers find confidence in leaders when they make well-informed, sound decisions. When leaders are making decisions for the good of others, they can build strong relationships because the followers realize that the leader cares about them and has their best interests in mind.
Build goals on common ground: Leaders are persuasive when they include the big picture as they request the support of their followers. When followers find out how they will personally benefit from policies or programs, they are willing to put their shoulder to the wheel to accomplish goals. If the leaders cannot explain the benefits of such a plan, they should review their plans and make the needed adjustments.
Make their position compelling: Leaders persuade and influence people when they communicate through symbols, metaphors and stores rather than dry and tedious data. By appealing to others through an emotional level, leaders can inspire the followers to achieve the toughest of goals.
Connect emotionally: Leaders can be more persuasive if the can intellectually connect emotionally to others. By knowing how people feel, how they have interpreted and responded to past events in the organization, leaders have an opportunity to better present their ideas and goals.
Leaders who have learned the art of persuasion can communicate with their followers in positive ways and build strong relationships that will lead to shared goals and build common ground. For example, Robert Marcell, head of Chrysler’s small-car design team in the 1990s, faced a very serious communication and morale problem with his team who doubted Chrysler’s ability to manufacture and market a domestically made small car (Woolfe, 2002). Instead of presenting a dry report on trends, Marcell showed a 15 minute slide show of his hometown and the devastation that occurred with they could not compete with foreign companies. Appealing to his team emotionally, he showed the boarded-up schools, closed schools and the ruins of the town’s iron-works, demonstrating what could happen with this company if they were unwilling or unable to compete (Woolfe, 2002). Daring his team to be different, they were moved and meet the challenge by manufacturing the Dodge Neon (Woolfe, 2002).

Daft, R.L. (2008). Leadership communication. The Leadership Experience, chapter 9. Thomson Learning, Inc. Retrieved from http://books.google.com/books?id=JJ_HuV1KlyQC&pg=PA273&lpg=PA273&dq=How+do+leaders+use+communication+to+influence+and+persuade+others?&source=bl&ots=UqauboG5Mw&sig=QdPSbNn8QKmiFtOdc3SktWhwN4Y&hl=en&sa=X&ei=JUE6UfCTNYf7qgGV2IDYDw&ved=0CEsQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=How%20do%20leaders%20use%20communication%20to%20influence%20and%20persuade%20others%3F&f=false
Woolfe, L. (2002). The Bible on Leadership: From Moses to Matthew: Management Lessons for Contemporary Leaders. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data. Retrieved from http://books.google.com/books?id=OulD4lAiGvkC&pg=PA98&lpg=PA98&dq=Robert+Marcell+as+a+leader&source=bl&ots=4cjh4lnlJ-&sig=llJJejCpiChHfbdeoLE1TapSNpE&hl=en&sa=X&ei=WVA6UbHUGseYqwH41YGoCg&ved=0CDAQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=Robert%20Marcell%20as%20a%20leader&f=false

2. Does the Johari Window seem like a good framework for leaders who want to create better communications among team members? Can you think of potential problems a leader might encounter when applying the Johari Window?
The Johari Window framework is used by leaders who want to give and receive feedback, and when employed creates a better source of communication among team members (Learning and Teaching Scotland, 2008). The framework encourages everyone to share and disclose personal information such as their interests, their motivators, fears, and goals. The framework encourages feedback from others which increases self awareness, as well as openness and honesty. This framework also increases trust amongst the group members, while clearly up any potential confusions or misunderstandings. Overall, the Johari Window framework creates an atmosphere for better understanding and increases self esteem to …

Solution Summary
The leaders using communication to influence and persuade others are examined. The potential problems a leader might encounter when applying the Johari Window is determined.

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