This article is part of an exclusive month-long program on CAREEREALISM to help readers break free of The Golden Handcuff Effect. Click HERE to learn more about the Professional Emancipation Project, a.k.a. The P.E.P. Talk. Few skills are more important for success at work and life than the ability to be persuasive and memorable. And yet the tricks for effective speaking and writing, which have been known for twenty-five centuries and verified by modern social science research, are hardly taught today. As I explain in my book Language Intelligence: Lessons on Persuasion from Jesus, Shakespeare, Lincoln, and Lady Gaga, those tricks are the figures of speech, originally developed by the ancient bards like Homer to help them remember their epic poems and to make sure audiences would remember them. Systematic use of the figures is the best way to be both pithy and profound. In this world of information overload, you have to capture people’s attention. In this media menagerie, you have to stand out like a peacock. Mastering the figures will help you grab people with the most eye-popping headlines, the catchiest catch-phrases, and the sweetest tweets. Modern corporations have spent billions trying to hone in on which words will persuade people to remember and purchase their products. Their expensive studies have shown that the use of the figures “leads to more liking for the ad, a more positive brand attitude, and better recall of ad headlines.” Advertising research finds that for certain figures, such as puns or metaphors, the act of decoding the figure, of figuring it out, “is necessary to produce its positive incremental effects on attitudes and memory.” The subtext is as important as the text. Studies reveal that "virtually all of our abstract conceptualization and reasoning is structured by metaphor.” A single, well-crafted metaphor, like a well-crafted building, can endure for ages, as when Churchill said in 1946, “an iron curtain has descended across the Continent.” Lady Gaga, the first musician in history to reach one billion views on YouTube. Half of those views were from two songs, “Poker Face” and “Bad Romance,” which, not coincidentally, are both extended metaphors. The most important figures for making phrases memorable are the figures of repetition, especially rhyme and alliteration. This key goal of repetition has been understood for millennia, hence the Latin expression Repetitio mater memoriae, “Repetition is the mother of memory.” Studies suggest that if a phrase or aphorism rhymes then people are more likely to view it as true. People more readily believe “woes unite foes” describes human behavior accurately than they do “woes unite enemies." Another study found that repeating something 3 times has 90% of the persuasive value of 3 different people saying it once. All these years after the 1995 O. J. Simpson murder case, defense attorney Johnnie Cochran’s phrase “If it doesn't fit, you must acquit” still sticks in the mind. It hardwires what the jurors saw in the courtroom—when Simpson tried on the bloodstained “murder gloves” they didn’t fit—with the verdict Cochran wanted and ultimately won for his client. Repetition remains powerfully persuasive. Popular songs have a catchy "hook" or phrase that is repeated many times. Last summer’s monster hit "Call me maybe" has one of the cleverest, hardest-to-get-out-of-your-head hooks you can squeeze into three words, "Call me maybe." The words "me" and "maybe" have both rhyme and alliteration. You may wonder if you can learn how to be more persuasive and memorable from a book. After all, one common myth is that people are born with “the gift of gab.” It isn’t true. In his autobiographical novel, Winston Churchill wrote of his hero, an eloquent politician: “These impromptu feats of oratory existed only in the minds of the listeners; the flowers of rhetoric were hothouse plants.” The garden of eloquence requires close cultivation. Bob Dylan visited the New York Public Library again and again to read pre- Civil War newspapers. Dylan said in his biography he was “intrigued by the language and rhetoric of the times.” Anyone can master language intelligence through study and practice. Studying the figures would benefit everyone: tweeters, bloggers, lawyers, politicians, managers, writers and songwriters, teachers, public speakers of all kinds—anyone who must make a persuasive case to customers, clients, co-workers, bosses, voters, friends, or lovers. The figures have helped my blog, ClimateProgress, become the most retweeted climate blog in the world, which Time magazine named one of the web's twenty-five best blogs in 2010. The century-old words of a precocious 22-year-old Winston Churchill in his essay, "The Scaffolding of Rhetoric" are truer than ever: “The subtle art of combining the various elements that separately mean nothing and collectively mean so much in an harmonious proportion is known to a very few.” It’s a "Brand-You World,” proclaimed Time in 2006 in a punning headline. If you want to create and sustain a personal brand, if you want to be noticed and remembered, if you want to write wowing headlines or tweets, you’ll have to use more figures of speech. You’ll need language intelligence.
January 21, 2022
Some managers can motivate you from the moment they step into a room, while others simply cannot get employees to work for them at their full potential. The real problem stands in the fact that the effective manager does need to have some traits. Failure to have them will lead to failure for the entire company.
The successful business manager needs skills and talent.
Managerial skills can easily be developed as time passes through experience, mentoring, and training. However, when referring to natural talent, this is definitely something that cannot be obtained.
Productive companies will always invest a lot of money in developing and identifying truly effective managers. If this is the type of job that you are after, you should know that the following traits are necessary.
You Must Have Great Leadership Skills
This is one crucial attribute that so many managers actually lack these days.
Most companies will promote those employees that have great individual results. The problem is that a really good salesperson will rarely be a really good manager. The true leader will always be able to inspire trust, delegate responsibility, and provide direction. A manager won't be a "leader" if they cannot perfectly perform these three tasks.
While leadership skills can be gained in time, the innately talented manager will actually be able to gain all that he or she needs to be a true leader in a short period of time. This is something that is a lot more important than what many believe at the moment. Every single successful business manager out there is a leader who takes the team he or she manages and makes it work better, faster, and more effectively.
You Need To Have A Clear Communication Strategy
It is very important for the manager to have really strong communication skills. It is not enough to show that you appreciate your employees. You need to properly highlight what you want from them so that everything can go smoothly.
The effective manager has to be able to properly decipher, understand, and then relate the vision of the organization to the employees so that productivity is maintained. If communication is ineffective, employees will not understand what the manager tells them. This can lead to so many different problems in the future, and such a chain reaction can have a devastating effect on the profit of any company.
If you need help figuring out your communication style at work, take this FREE quiz. It helps you determine your communication style, and how you can use it to your advantage in the workplace.
You Must Have The Ability To Adapt
This is something that makes him/her really effective at the job. If the manager can adapt to the circumstances that are unexpected, the entire team will achieve more success in the future. This also means that a successful manager has the necessary creative thinking skills to find a new solution to any problem that may appear.
You Need To Focus On Developing Your Team
You cannot have employees that remain still when referring to the skills that they have. Any financial blog on the internet will tell you that an effective manager will make sure that employees improve and that they become better at the job that is done.
Developing other people basically involves cultivating talents and then motivating them to channel gained talents towards increasing productivity.
You Have To Build Relationships
It's a shame to see that there are still managers who do not understand the importance of networking. A manager needs to establish good relationships with potential clients and employees. Those employees who feel they are valued will always be more effective and will put in the extra effort that can bring in better results at the end of the day.
When building a relationship with an employee, it is really important that the manager showcases empathy and trust in the ability of the team. This is something that helps everyone enjoy working under the guidance of the specific team leader. Make sure that you know as much as possible about the employees—their strong points, and their weak points.
You Need To Constantly Develop Your Skills
The effective manager is the one who knows the problems that he or she has and constantly works on solving them. Career development is a huge part of career success in this job and in any other job. You need to develop in order to be able to lead employees.
If you remain at the same level, the entire team remains at the same level. That manager that continues to grow will eventually learn how to use the above-mentioned natural talents in order to make the team work flawlessly and even encourage the employees to do the same thing.
The manager who never develops is basically bound to eventually lag behind as he or she cannot adapt to the market. This and adaptability go hand-in-hand. You cannot have one without the other.
Try to improve as much as possible with every single project that you do and always be truthful to yourself about the flaws that you have. Work on them as soon as possible and your team members will see that you put in the effort to change.
It is so much harder to be an effective manager than we think. There is this belief that you can simply learn how to be a great leader in college. This is definitely not the case. Many of the really successful managers from around the world did not have formal training. You need to be sure that you constantly grow. That is, most likely, the most important trait to have if you want to be a great leader.
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This article was originally published at an earlier date.
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