Leadership is a complex process that requires leaders to critically appraise the circumstances in which they find themselves to best determine how to lead and influence those around them. There are multiple tactics a leader can employ in any given circumstance to influence a situation or their followers. Compare two leaders you have dealt with in the past. What different tactics did these leaders employ to influence situations or people? Which tactics were successful? Which tactics were not successful? As a leader, how can you critically appraise situations to make sure you select appropriate tactics for influencing a given situation?
A leader has access to plethora of tactics to influence its followers and to be used in numerous situations. Cohen, (2000) has recognized eight crucial tactics that leaders might use in circumstances to sway a group of followers irrespective of leadership styles. The eight essential leadership tactics are: direction, persuasion, negotiation, involvement, indirection, enlistment, redirection, and reputation (Cohen, 2000).
I have had many supervisors in my different careers. The two most recent leaders that I have worked with have used different tactics to influence situations or people. My favorite leader of the two made the call for change and explained why if there were concerns, he will say let’s try and if it doesn’t work, we will change it. It usually worked on his favor he was fun and made work fun. When things will not go well, he always had the right plan and even when his plans didn’t work, he had the right words to lift our spirits.
The other leader that I respected had a more direct approached, he will make changes and when met resistance it was his way or the highway, but he will work shoulder to shoulder with his team and he was well respected. During my time working with him things went smooth and you could always be assured that everything was done fairly.
Both tactics where successful but the fact that the first leader was always willing to hear you out caused staff to really like him and work for him.
A leader, should always take in consideration the two sides, gather as much information as possible, and make a balance decision.
Cohen, W. A. (2000). The new art of the leader. U.S.: Prentice Hall Direct