In this series of posts on leadership communications, I’ve been sharing the seven power cues from author Nick Morgan in Power Cues: The Subtle Science of Leading Groups, Persuading Others, and Maximizing Your Personal Impact (Harvard Business Review Press, 2014):
- Non-verbal communications
- Unconscious messages
- Leadership voice
- Social signals
- Reprogramming the unconscious
- Synchronizing with stories
The next two steps involve reprogramming your mindset and influencing others through storytelling.
Use the power of your unconscious mind to make decisions, manage fears and anxiety, and create a more successful persona. You may need to craft and repeat a positive mantra or reaffirmation to reset your thinking. Studies show that repetition is a must to change your thinking habits.
Is your unconscious mind holding you back or propelling you forward? Shed your unconscious mind of the blocks and impediments to success.
Your unconscious mind determines your emotional attitudes, which either serve you or limit you as a leader. You can take charge of your inner dialogues by reprograming negative self-talk with positive self-talk. Take charge of your posture and facial expressions through practice.
#6. Synchronize with Stories
Align all of the steps by mastering the art of storytelling. When we tell each other stories, our brain patterns synchronize and people are more likely to listen to you. Stories enhance your natural leadership capacity, increase your charisma and move others to action. Convey your message in ways that align people with you, down to their very brain waves.
A great story can connect to people’s universal desires and grabs their audience. Select one of the five archetypal stories: a quest, stranger in a strange land, love story, rags to riches or revenge. Tell the story in three acts: dilemma, conflict, and resolution. Great storytelling is more art than science because you must invoke emotions.
#7. Leadership Requires Alignment
When you’re more aware of unconscious behavior, you can align your conscious and unconscious messages for impactful communication. This increases your authenticity, improves your ability to lead a group, persuades others and maximizes your personal impact.
As Morgan notes:
“No one gets led anywhere they don’t want to go. Machiavelli was wrong; leadership is not manipulation, not in the long run. It’s alignment, the leader with the group and the group with the leader. But you first have to maximize and focus your leadership strengths in order to be ready when your moment comes.”
In the work I do with successful smart leaders, we spend time discussing leadership communication and the cues one sends out to others through both conscious and unconscious behaviors.
While it can be more obvious to see how to improve the conscious content of a leader’s message, it’s another thing altogether to work on unconscious signals. It’s a bit more challenging and most often requires another’s assistance to see what you are blind to.
But like most things, effort and practice do bring about results. Is it time we talk about your own leadership communication abilities? Contact me, let’s talk.