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“You just need to do it and believe in yourself” It was made by an executive coach, which I discovered in my dissertation on coaching.  The coach discerned exactly what the client needed at a time of great stress and confusion. This approach is called “verbal persuasion” which is a determinant of self-efficacy.

Self-efficacy is one’s belief in themselves to accomplish a task or solve a problem. Through my research I learned that verbal persuasion empowers leaders. Furthermore, you do not have to be a coach to verbally persuade. A peer, manager, mentor, coach, boss, supervisor or board member can use verbal persuasion to instill self-efficacy.

In fact those in roles of power or authority can leverage verbal persuasion for good. Unfortunately, many executives use verbal persuasion as a manipulative tool to force performance or even bring shame into the workplace.

What are some examples of verbal persuasion? Here are 3 types:

1.) Encouragement: Encouragement is seeing the good in others and stating it to the person directly. Just as the word ‘encouragement’ states – to encourage is to bring forth courage in another to continue to act in a certain way or to change direction entirely. How often are you encouraging your team? “I see this in you.” is a great place to start.

2.) Exhortation: The phrase “I would like to see you move toward this client or this situation” exhorts a person to move from where they are to where they may need to go.

3.) Empowerment: “I do not need to be involved in this area of the business. I trust you to handle it” Once you empower a direct report or peer, the opportunities are endless. It  reduces stress when you create this type of clarity for an employee. Who do you need to empower on your team to go and do?

Back to the example above, the executive participant in my study, did do it and believed in themselves. They had a difficult conversation with their boss and made a career change. Through the use of verbal persuasion by the coach, moved this leader to make a much needed change.

You as a leader have the opportunity to verbally persuade, which reduces stress and strengthens performance. Not only that, a person’s overall well-being can greatly improve when they receive verbal persuasion. Martin Seligman states that we need 4 positive emotional experiences (like verbal persuasion) to every  1 negative experience. As a leader, this is your responsibility.