A useful starting point for practicing persuasive noble leadership is to investigate the targeted audience characteristics. We have identified some salient audience characteristics that include values, intellectual levels, concerns, psychological needs, attitudes, cultural orientations and motivational propensities. Different cultures place different levels of respect to authority figures, class and gender related issues. Cultural conformity does no exist on such issues.
A message must be tailored to meet these various characteristics, as well as the current emotional state of the audience would have to be considered. A major point of consideration is to ensure consistency of character when addressing an audience. If the persuasive leader is perceived as being insincere, false or untruthful, the message or proposal will ultimately fail. Often the persuasive process follows an indirect path from the persuader through various influential individuals to reach a target audience. Thus, obtaining support or endorsement from respected others, and building coalitions, is an effective means of dissolving potential doubt in a targeted audience.
Change management and strategic plans
Persuasion is a key attribute for leaders when implementing organisational change as such efforts are often met with resistance. There are many tools available to a leader to implement planned change. Goal setting processes and action plans for goal achievement must be formulated.
Understanding when change is being resisted is the first step towards rectifying a problematic situation. People must also be persuaded to accept such goals. The acceptance of a strategic plan is often influenced by the perception of the merit of the strategy which initially requires persuasion, encouragement and reassurance on the part of the leader. Therefore, the credibility, competence and integrity of a leader can have a major impact on group acceptance.
Leaders who are liked, respected and hold a past record of achievement and competence tend to gain greater acceptance from others than those who are less reputable in terms of their character and expertise. However, in the face of change even leaders that are respected and liked can face tensions. A leader should understand, and have the strength of character to accept, that being a persuasive noble leader often requires difficult decisions and sacrificing one’s own likeability for the betterment of the group or organisation.
Perhaps the most fundamental factor in accepting a particular role in a plan is the level of confidence one has in successfully carrying out their role in the larger plan. By enhancing self-efficacy beliefs, a leader can persuade participation by enhancing an individual’s motivation to achieve targeted goals. Since each individual or group may have a different role in a plan, they must be persuaded uniquely. Here, the persuasive effort such as the arguments employed, the emotions evoked and the stories told will be customised for each group or individual. »