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What is Persuasive Management?

02nd February 2017

Over the last few weeks, we have examined the pros and cons of the autocratic, laissez-faire, and consultative leadership styles. We are now at the halfway point of our management style blog series, and today we’re going to focus on the pros and cons of the persuasive style. 



Persuasive management bears one major resemblance to the autocratic style in that, at the end of the day, you call the shots. The two styles differ in their approach however, as while autocratic managers will simply tell their team what to do, a persuasive manager will try to convince them that it is the best way forward. 

When is it Effective?

Persuasive management is not as widely applicable as the styles we have examined so far, and is often left out of the discussion of management styles entirely. Despite its relative obscurity, persuasive management can be an effective approach to certain scenarios.

Persuasive management is most effective when used in situations where you know far more about the subject matter than the team you’re leading. As you are an expert in a complex field, there would be little benefit in seeking the input of those who are not. But team members are still able to perform individual tasks or execute certain parts of the plan. Therefore, persuading them that the ideas are good and the work they do matters will instil passion in them, and yield much better results. 

Persuasive management can also be a very effect tactic when managing upwards. As an expert in your field, you may be called upon to provide your professional insight and opinion. In such cases, you need to convince people who are more senior than you that they can trust your judgement. Honing your powers of persuasion could make this a very effective approach to an often difficult situation. 

What are the Pros and Cons?

Rather than an exhaustive list of advantages and disadvantages, persuasive management is a style that has a lot of potential. Whether or not this potential works in your favour depends heavily on you as an individual, and hinges primarily on your ability to persuade your team. 

If you can manage to persuade your team to back your way of thinking, persuasive management has a lot to offer. Some of the biggest potential advantages are the ability to make quick decisions, no confusion as to the corporate hierarchy or decision-making process, creative and professional freedom, and a better reaction than you would get with alternative styles, such as autocracy. 

However, fail to persuade your team and this style has the potential to work against you. Since you are the bona fide expert, you’re expected to make decisions and plans that work. On top of that, it is your job to get your team to believe in your ideas and carry out the work to a particular standard. Regardless of whether your plan was flawed, or your team didn’t support you, if the end result isn’t satisfactory, the blame falls to you. 

Persuasive management is not a style for every situation, and it is certainly not a style for everyone. In order to effectively implement it, you need to be knowledgeable, trustworthy, compelling, and stimulating. Without building the relationship with your team on a foundation of trust, this style has little to no chance of success. But if you can establish such a relationship, persuasive management can be a very effective and rewarding approach.  

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About the Author

Simon Griffin

Marketing Executive

Marketing Dept.

I have worked as a writer since I began attending university, and have been working in marketing ever since I graduated. I aim to provide well-researched, fact based, original work that people will find useful and interesting. I have written hundreds of articles as both a freelancer and a marketing executive, and look forward to writing for Cpl. 

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