Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Leadership Sparkle II: Influencing vs. Motivating

To advocate is to exert degrees of persuasiveness and influence in the circumstances that require it.

The words "influence," "motivate," "persuade" and "inspire" are often used interchangeably without much thought as to their accurate meaning. There’s subtle difference between the words, understanding them deeper may improve leadership skills and scenarios, as an effective leader needs to be both influential and motivational, better have them all.

  • There is indeed a subtle difference, one need to be "influential" if one wants to "motivate." To "influence" means to be able to shape other people's views or opinions towards one's own views or perspectives. This ability to "influence" then sets the ground for getting your "motivation" going. To "motivate" is to get other people to move into action, to act on whatever view you have influenced to take. Transformational leadership requires both facts and skills to be present in one person, plus more. 
  • To influence, is to produce an effect on someone by imperceptible or intangible means; or, to sway, modify a person or even (in some cases) a group in some way;  “to motivate” is the act of giving somebody a reason or incentive to do something Motivating' requires giving someone a 'motive,' usually self-interest along the lines; while influencing is a higher level skill that makes it their idea.
  • There are different languages for leadership, one of which is "Advocate," which means to support, argue or persuade in favor of or against something or some group of persons. To advocate is to exert degrees of persuasiveness and influence in the circumstances that require it. While motivating people move more into the area of coaching or mentoring because you are motivating people by allowing them to learn by giving them the time and the confidence to work out for themselves what needs to be done in certain situations. 
  • If look at prefix, "IN"fluence is outside-in, touches both mind and heart via inspiration and insight, while "MO"motivation is moving forward, taking action. So effective leadership should be first influential, then motivational. A person who’s influenced may not necessarily be motivated to act on it, but a person motivated to do something should have been influenced by it. Although motivation does not always come from "hearty or mindful" influence; many times people get motivated by "carrot or stick". 
Either being influential or motivational, leaders first must be good listeners! Emphatic listening - seek first to understand before seeking to be understood, whether in the process of influencing, motivating, persuading, or inspiring. The subtle differences in the language we use to both connect with others and define ourselves lies some of the answers on transforming one's influence into motivating others


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