Every good superhero has a superpower

Every good superhero has a superpower. You know, the thing that always helps them get out of a jam and save the day.

Leaders may not be superheroes, but we do sometimes find ourselves in a tough or challenging situation. However, unlike like our superhero friends, we don`t always remember to use our superpowers.

This article is about one of those powers – one that is too often overlooked or underappreciated.

This is a power that has many uses, but for now let`s think about how it can be used when you need to persuade.

Clearly, as a leader, you have a need to persuade others – in a change situation, in a coaching situation, and the list could go on and on. And since persuasion is such a pervasive skill, wouldn`t you like to have a superpower you could pull out when you really need it?

More about that in a moment.

First, think about the best, most successful persuaders you know. Get one name in your mind, then answer this question:

What makes that person so exceptional?

Having done this exercise with a number of groups, I know your list probably includes a many ideas. Some of the ideas are tactics or specific types of behaviors that persuaders use to be successful.

All of those ideas are useful and instructive, yet none of them are the persuasive superpower.

However, the superpower may be on your list, hidden, by thoughts like:

She gets others excited.
He is enthusiastic.

Or maybe the superpower is actually sitting right in your mind, and you don`t even recognize it.

The persuasive superpower is passion.

First, a definition of persuasion: Persuasion is the ability to induce or create a course of action or viewpoint using the tools of influence through conversation, dialogue, logic, reasoning and emotion.

Note the last word in that definition . . . emotion.

Emotion is the word that links to passion. And since everyone one of us makes decisions and choices based on our emotions, passion is key to successful persuasion.

Why a Superpower?

Six reasons why passion is the persuasive superpower:

Passion shows conviction. People are more likely to believe your words when they sense your passion.
Passion is contagious. Passion IS contagious, and if you are trying to persuade someone of something, wouldn`t you want your ideas to be the contagion they catch?
Passion provides value. People want more passion, energy and excitement in their lives. Like a little (or big) kid who is drawn to the cookie jar, our passion draws people because it is something they want more of in their lives.
Passion is best based on purpose. Generally we are passionate about something because of what that something represents. When you connect your passion and your persuasion to a higher purpose, you further energize your superpower!
Passion enhances effectiveness. Your communication will be better when you are passionate. Your productivity will be enhanced, as will the productivity of others as they tap into your passion.
Passion is truly “other focused.” When you are truly passionate about something it`s because you want others to benefit too. Laser-focus your passion based on the needs of others and your persuasive powers will be further enhanced – while you aren`t thinking about them at all.

Two Final Thoughts

Some leaders are afraid to show their emotions and passion because “they aren`t that person.” Or they don`t see themselves as a rah-rah cheerleader type.

Let me be very clear – the passion superpower doesn`t require you to be a cheerleader unless that is who you are. All of us can effectively show and communicate our passion in our own way. Don`t let a stereotype get in your way!

At this point you may be thinking “you know, Kevin, I`m just not very passionate about my current situation or position.”

While exploring that would be worthy of another article, here is a short answer:

Find the part of the situation you can be passionate about and focus your energy there. Since passion is contagious, two things will happen – you will be using your superpower AND building your own passion over time.

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