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Leadership: More Influence, Less Authority
By Barb Girson, My Sales Tactics
Published On:  11/18/2014

Many leaders set goals to move ahead without fully leveraging their leadership ability to use their influence without authority. While this approach of non-authoritative leadership may at first seem oxymoronic, this style of leading is very important in today’s ever-changing world. 

The old strategy of being an overly directive boss is not nearly as effective as it once was, and requires reexamination and self-awareness. 

Using various functions of your physical being as an analogy, you can quickly determine whether you have the full range of conversational perspectives that a leader needs to influence people in almost every situation. A quick body scan can easily help you remember how to improve your leadership by gaining more influence using less authority. 

1. Left Brain.

The left brain is the house of facts, reason, analysis, information, and data. When you are an authority, or when you know facts that are meaningful to the other individual, relying on the left brain can help you resonate with that person with ideas that make sense.

However, most leaders use the left brain excessively, especially in our culture. There are limitations to facts and logic. For example, it is hard to win over someone’s heart with a PowerPoint deck.

You may have heard the saying, emotions sell and reasons justify. To access your own logic ask yourself, "What does my [left] brain tell me about this situation?"

2. Right Brain.

The right brain is where we process images, stories, metaphors, and pictures. It is the entryway to the subconscious. By using more anecdotes and images, leaders can reach people at a different level than with the left brain alone. If you can help someone see it, they will believe it.

3. Gut.

Dr. Herbert Simon, the late social scientist, is known for helping us to understand how we accumulate knowledge. Our brains seek to organize the knowledge into patterns, known as "chunking". With this stored knowledge, we are alerted to danger, sense when someone is lying, or determine a course of  action. The message seems to come from an inside voice or our internal self. It comes from our gut.

The gut, or "hara" as the Japanese refer to it, is our core. The gut speaks to us and gives us our gift of intuition. It is where we go when we take a stand, negotiate, declare appropriately, form an agreement, or set boundaries. When we use our gut to influence, we inform someone what we prefer or don’t like about his or her actions, we share our expectations, and offer incentives to encourage them to conform. When we connect with others at a gut level, they respond instinctively. When you ask someone on your team to take a gut level check, they are to determine if the idea makes sense or seems reasonable. Ask yourself, "What is your gut telling you?" to see what your instincts are telling you about a situation.

4. Heart.

In business settings where we seek an authentic commitment and not just compliance, it is not enough to direct or to assert. We need to become better askers than tellers. We have to be willing to be vulnerable.

The discussion shifts to asking for advice and help, to listening to the other person’s hopes and goals in order to collaborate and find a solution, and being flexible about the process to produce results. The leader doesn’t have to be indecisive, especially on the ultimate goal, but is open and receptive to novel views about how he or she can be better, and how to get to the target. This approach builds team engagement. It is often said people don’t care how much a leader knows until they can feel that their leader cares. To improve your leadership influence without authority, leverage different perspectives when you give and receive information. Take a quick body scan to remember how your messages are given and received.

2014 My Sales Tactics copyright original work

Permission to reprint this article is granted with inclusion of "About the Author, contact information, & active web site link".

About The Author

Barb Girson,International Direct Selling Industry expert, trainer and Registered Corporate Coach(TM), is a highly interactive, creative speaker & author offering professional skill development programs for workshops, leader retreats, and annual conventions & telecasts sales training programs. Custom programs /Coaching 1:1 available.

Barb Girson helps companies, teams & entrepreneurs gain confidence, get into action, & most importantly… grow sales. To sign up for her next FREE sales training teleclass / join her free email list & get ‘Sales Strategies that Stick’ ezine, VisitMySalesTactics.comto learn more. Need aspeakerfor your next event? Contact Barb Girson: 614.855.0446


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