Thursday, March 10, 2016

Early-Career Communication Part 3: Leading Without Authority


Kendell Brown
By  Kendell Brown, Associate Director of Graduate Career Services

Articulating a vision and getting people to work toward that vision is formidable for many. Motivating clients, peers and other key stakeholders can be particularly challenging for someone who doesn’t have a title that commands action. However, for you to be personally successful, that success has to come as part of a broader effort. I am going to highlight 4 characteristics that can help you lead despite having no specific authority to do so.

Speak confidently.

If you speak confidently and in a manner that underscores a belief in what you are saying, you are likely to get others to agree. Meaning people want to follow the lead of someone that appears knowledgeable and self-assured. 

It is necessary to note that sometimes people will undermine their own confidence by saying things like “I’m not sure, if you’ll agree” or “Is that in line with what you were thinking?” When you are rallying people and getting them to do what you want - refrain from using qualifying and confirmatory language, it will weaken you and your ideas. Instead focus on speaking with certainty and assurance.