What is a compelling person? Why do you want to be one? And how can you become one? A compelling person is one who, in dealing and interacting with others, has both strength and warmth. In short, these are:
- Strength – a person’s capacity to make things happen with abilities and force of will. When people project strength, they command our respect.
- Warmth is the sense that a person shares our feelings, interests, and view of the world. When people project warmth, we like and support them.
- People who project both strength and warmth impress us as knowing what they are doing and having our best interests at heart, so we trust them and find them persuasive. They are compelling.
Being both is not as simple as it seems, as strength and warmth are in direct tension with each other. Most of the things we do to project strength of character – such as wearing a serious facial expression, flexing our biceps etcetera – tend to make us seem less warm. Likewise, most signals of warmth – smiling often, speaking softly, doing people favours – can leave us seeming more submissive than strong.
Being a compelling person is a major ingredient to influencing people and building deep trust with people. So how can we overcome this tension and be perceived as compelling and become a more effective leader, and improve your career opportunities? Here are ten suggestions of things you can do,
Ten Suggestions to Becoming More Compelling
- Be level-headed = this is about being self-composed, sensible, having common sense and sound judgement. You feel comfortable to invite this person to a very difficult conversation knowing you will get a balanced view and a contextualized conversation.
- Respectful straightforwardness – you provide feedback in a direct, frank and constructive manner; similarly you are a good listener, listening to ensure that you understand the other person first rather than being understood yourself first.
- Courage and toughness – you demonstrate the strength of character and conviction to ensure consistency and fairness in a situation, even if the course of action you take is unpopular or unwelcome.
- Open minded – you are open to new ideas, no matter who or where they come from; at the same time you avoid adopting biased views and don’t carry past baggage into the future with you.
- Self-control – you exercise good self-control at all times, and don’t let yourself become hijacked by your emotions.
- Non-judgmental – you listen and discuss matters without pre-judging the people or the situation.
- Conscientiousness – you do things thoroughly and well. You appear efficient, organized and dependable; in doing so you consistently deliver reliability.
- Forward looking – you look beyond the past and today, and you do not let them hold you back, with a focus on the future and how you can influence it.
- Assertive, not aggressive – you are able and willing to stand your ground and make your point without, in doing so, diminishing the other person or their arguments.
- Being a safe haven – as a compelling person others are comfortable in talking with you openly, frankly and honestly. They see that you will give the best advice they can, even if you do not like it.
How do you rate yourself on these ten aspects of being a compelling person? What can you do to improve? Share this with your team and reports and use it a basis for opening useful and insightful individual and team discussions and become more compelling yourself in doing so.
To find out more and discuss this and other ways to improve leadership effectiveness and organizational performance further contact Andrew Cooke (MGSCC), call Andrew Cooke on +61 (0)401 842 673 or firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also find further insights and a wealth of material on business and leadership on Andrew’s other blog – Growth & Profit Solution Blog. There are also a large number of resources at his Blue Sky GPS Website, and these can be found Blue Sky GPS Resources.