Concrete Experience and Reflective Observation
There are many important qualities that a person has to develop as a leader. For me, to be a successful leader means to be good at persuasion and details. When my employees know what I want to do, their cooperation and support are priceless for me. Gain a mutual understanding with my colleagues is one of the goals I set in my work at Bridgestone. Therefore, during my practice, I had to improve my knowledge of different arguments and methods of persuasion. Telling the truth, I am pleased with the results I achieved during the last several years.
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I made sure that my speeches and orders are logical and informative. Logos is probably one of the major factors of persuasion I try to follow. For example, I needed a new service being offered to our clients. It was not enough to give an order and check how the team coped with it. I began my research by evaluating other organizations where optional phone calls (a new service I wanted to introduce) were used. I analyzed the opinions and feedback of customers and compared the results before and after that implementation. As soon as I discovered positive shifts and illustrative examples, I introduced that technique to my employees. Logic alone could not work effectively, and I added several justifications, my personal opinion, and ask what other people thought about the idea. Then, I used some pathos and passion and made sure that my emotions did not contradict the emotions of other people. I promote positive attitudes and desire to cooperate by saying about expected benefits and rewards. Finally, I continued relying on facts to present credible information. No unclear points remained before the service was offered.
Theories and Principles/Abstract Conceptualization
Persuasion and leadership have a strong connection in managing people and promote organizational culture. When an employee is confident in what has to be done, his or her individual achievements may increase productivity and improve the quality of work. If the leader fails to persuade a team, it is hard to gain desired reputation and complete missions. To evaluate the effectiveness of the chosen methods of persuasion, several theories and models can be applied to the leadership experience.
Social judgment theory aims at enhancing the understanding of people’s attitudes towards different subjects to achieve the desired persuasive efforts. Its authors proposed the idea that when people receive a message, they decide whether to reject or accept it, relying on their own knowledge, judgments, and attitudes (Teng, Knog, & Goh, 2015). The quality of persuasion depends on people’s assessments and reactions.
The elaboration likelihood model is based on the idea that mental processes like motivation and reasoning are involved in the analysis developed by the targets of persuasive messages. In the 1980s, Petty and Cacioppo introduced this model as a possibility to solve people’s disagreements and conflicts through the two routes to persuasion – peripheral and central (Teng et al., 2015). This model encourages learning audience members before a message is sent to them.
Cognitive dissonance theory is one of the most frequently used theories in social media, communication, leadership, and other spheres of life. Its author, Festinger, argued that people might experience incongruence between their cognitions and behaviors that result in tension and change either in beliefs or behaviors (Teng et al., 2015). The elimination of dissonance is the major goal a person should reach to persuade other people.
In total, all three theories help to understand the arguments of persuasion. It is normal for people to have doubts and concerns about various ideas offered by someone. Persuasion will be effective only when a person uses strong arguments, clear thoughts, and reachable goals. The chosen theories aim to show the way and encourage speakers in their intentions to persuade and motivate either one person or a group of people.
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Testing and Application/Active Experimentation
In my practice, all three theories played a crucial role because they guide me on how to communicate with people and establish priorities. For example, in terms of social judgment theory, I learned that my knowledge and attitudes as a leader could not be enough to reach the goal and succeed in doing something. I had to recognize the level of knowledge of my team and predict their judgments towards my ideas. The elaboration likelihood model was a unique tool to strengthen my abilities and recognize what form of persuasion could work. There were situations when people like to listen to the leader and follow the logic behind the message and when people rely on different superficial factors to decide. Finally, cognitive dissonance theory proved that some people might behave in contrast to their beliefs just because they want to or have to. To succeed in persuading, I tried to observe my people and assess their behaviors and habits to organize my persuasion in a correct way.
Teng, S., Khong, K. W., & Goh, W. W. (2015). Persuasive communication: A study of major attitude-behavior theories in social media context. Journal of Internet Commerce, 14(1), 42-64.