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soft power leadership

#004 | How to 'Soft Power' Your Way to a Leadership Role

Sep 24, 2022

In today’s issue, I’m going to show you how to 'Soft Power' your way to a leadership role.

Trust me when I say this: if you learn how to develop and use your Soft Power, you’ll drastically gain credibility, gain confidence, distinguish yourself and become the leader you were meant to be. 

Many of us were told that hard work was the solution to advancing our career. Yet, how many of you have been working hard and were passed over for a promotion? How many times did you see someone less competent with less experience getting a leadership role?

Unfortunately, reaching our goals at the expense of our health is a trap many aspiring and current leaders fall into. But what would happen if you tried to advance your career in a different way?


Soft Power Not Super Power

Coercive power forces people to do things. Soft power inspires them. It is a way to influence through persuasion or attraction. It relies on generosity and empowerment rather than harm and manipulation. It depends upon empathy, compassion and respect. 

But, you’ll never be able to influence and earn the respect of others, if you don’t understand their wishes and priorities. Then, you need to take action accordingly.

Here is how to do it:


Do your homework

Start with understanding what current leadership wants and expects from you—and then deliver. The leadership needs to know that you understand their challenges. You need to understand and help them advance their agenda.

A leadership role is not a gift or an entitlement, but instead is earned through communication, actions and accomplishments. People form perceptions based on what they experience of you.


Use Emotional Intelligence to build greater influence

It's not enough to whisper sweet strategy in your CEO's ear if you can't demonstrate your leadership capabilities within the organization. This includes the ability to inspire, motivate and bring together your other team members. 

There is value in understanding the preferences of the people you are trying to influence (and it’s not phony if you do it out of respect). When you give your leadership what they need in the way they need it, they are far more likely to make a place for you on their team. 


Speak up in meeting

Being in-person or virtual meetings, you need to make yourself visible. Turn on the camera and raise your hand. Yes, contribute as much as you can, in a very strategic way. For example, when you speak in meetings, use phrases that succinctly signal what you’re doing, which makes it so much easier for others to follow the conversation and understand what’s the point you want to make:

  • “I agree with ______.”
  • “I want to add ______.”
  • “I want to present an alternative, which is ______.”
  • “I want to call our attention to ______.”

With these phrases, you’re helping everyone — including yourself — better navigate the meeting. This is an opportunity to showcase your ability to communicate, take action and lead people in the right direction. 


Soft power is very powerful

As with anything complex, soft power has many nuances. However, if you focus on these three elements, people will start to perceive you as a leader and understand how you would make a difference.

And even better for your career and your confidence, you’ll build soft power that adds to your credibility, respect and leadership strength.


See you again next week.

With your success in mind...Darine 

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