"Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone" - Colossians 4:6.
Benjamin Franklin once said, "A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still." The classic image of leaders has them barking out orders, reminding people who is in charge and what will happen if they don't comply with the leader's wishes and demands. Franklin's insight and today's verse seem to recommend a different approach. Leadership is all about influence and influence stems from persuasion—convincing followers of the rightness of a course or task as opposed to ordering compliance and obedience. And persuasion is composed of the right words spoken in the right way by a credible source received by willing and open people.
LEADERSHIP STEP: How much do you rely on direct orders and commands to get your job done? Today's Step is to consider a different way. One way you can know if you are persuading is if you give followers a chance to ask you questions—even difficult, challenging ones. You can make this practice a part of your regular staff meetings or have special one-on-one question-and-answer sessions. This means you will have to allow adequate time for these encounters.