Why Grace? Influencing Skills Simplified.

[Originally published Feb 2014 - Updated Oct 2018]

[2 min read]

If I’m going to be really honest, when we first read the research our Grace model is based on we didn’t realise what we’d found. The idea that our emotional impact on others is the key to influencing them is so powerful & simple it ought to be self evident. The fact that it’s full import didn’t dawn on me for some time, years in fact, is testament that we’re just not programmed that way.

Although the idea does resonate once it’s explained to us, most people have never put that idea into words. And if we’re honest, creating positive emotions in the person we’re trying to influence is often the farthest thing from our minds. We’re usually too concerned with the emotions they’re creating in us!

How easy is it to care for someone’s emotions when they’re filling us with frustration, impatience or anxiety? Even when their mood impact on us is positive – happiness, desire, praise – it’s that we are aware of, not what’s going on in them.

I’m generalising of course, focusing on others is more natural for some than the rest. And for those of us of a certain age it is only a small development of what our parents tried to teach us about how to behave.

That’s all true, but the power and simplicity of Grace is awesome. In a world where psychologists & consultants love to invent complexity, I am inspired by such a pure concept.

You want people to follow you? Then make them feel valued, inspired, safe, special…not criticised, less important than you, threatened or embarrassed.

You want to sell me something? Boost my self worth, show me you’re interested in my needs not yours, respect my decision process instead of telling me what I should think, value my time don’t bore or frustrate me, give me the level of detail I need not what you prefer.

You want to team with me? Let me know you care about my outcomes, trust me, value my affectionate respect. Don’t make me feel less than you, a rival, manipulated or irrelevant.

An organisation with a Grace culture and leadership values steeped in Grace is a wonderful place to be, to develop, and to grow.  Whether you’re senior leadership, new talent, or any place in between. Because Grace is the combination of empathy, resonance, optimism, and self esteem.  The emotional engagement everybody feels with their organisation is optimal. Discretionary effort blossoms, as do all the people.

Want to know how your organisation measures up on Grace?  To what extent do you have:

  • Empathetic people who sense how colleagues & customers are feeling
  • Resonant people who avoid creating negative emotions in others even when giving corrective feedback
  • Courageous people that hold others to account where appropriate and do so positively
  • People with the self esteem to put others’ feelings ahead of their own
  • Confident people who accept feedback on merit without going defensive
  • People who expect positive outcomes and whose optimism is infectious.

Easy isn’t it?

But Why Grace is the title I put on this post. It's a word with many meanings, all relevant.

Grace is about elegance, unconditional love, gratitude, selflessness, being blessed, economy of action, generosity of spirit.

And power.

That’s why 🙂

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