In his book, “To Sell is Human”, Daniel Pink points out that we are all salespeople and … we sell all the time. The ABC’s of traditional selling are “always be selling.” Pink’s ABC’s are “attunement, buoyancy and clarity.” These three attunement, buoyancy and clarity are also three key elements of leadership. Pink’s theory is also that sales is influence. Likewise, leadership is influence.
Attunement is the ability to tune into the perspectives, motivations and emotions of others. Certainly good leaders must be attuned to their followers. Here are three ways to attune yourself to other people’s point of view.
- Assume that you are in a position of low power. When you take on a lower status, your ability to imagine the desires and fears of the people you lead grows.
- Think as much as you feel. In order to take on the perspective of others, you must think. Empathy may build relationships but perspective taking ensures that everyone’s interests are being met.
- Mimic subtly. Matching the mannerisms and vocal patterns of the other person communicates that you are in sync and that you can be trusted.
Buoyancy is the ability to counter rejection. Yes, leaders do have to handle rejection and must find ways to support their well being. They must find the sweet spot between positive emotions and negative emotions. Pink suggests that an effective ratio of positive and negative emotions is 3 to 1. Once positive emotions outnumbered negative emotions 3 to 1 (for every three instances of feeling gratitude, interest or contentment, they experienced only one instance of anger, guilt or embarrassment people generally flourished.”
Clarity – Quoting Jacob Getzels, Pink observes that how well you identify and define a problem influences the quality of the solution. Leaders must identify and define problems for others and teach how to as well. They must also discover the hidden possibilities and clarify issues.
If you want to learn how to improve your influence and leadership skills, let’s talk.