• How Successful Leaders Build Consensus

    Consensus building is a necessary skill for you to learn in order to be better at what you do, to get the promotion or make the sale.


    Because whether leading from the front, middle or back, whether you’re dealing with a company, wrestling team, church group or your family, if you want things done a certain way- if you want a shared vision- you must build consensus through inclusion.

    Management skills: How to get buy-inIn sports, a coach is more effective if the athletes are on board with the training philosophy, management style and strategy.

    In business, it’s the same way.

    But you’re the boss and people should just do as you say, right?
    Maybe you’re the expert. People should just listen, right?

    That would be nice but it’s unrealistic.

    Here’s how to build consensus like an effective leader.

    1) Ask for input and then shut-up. Listen. Nod your head. Ask probing questions like, “If you were in my shoes, what would you think?” or “What other ideas are out there?”

    2) Say “and” not “but”
    For example, “You say you want more autonomy with your expense account but you aren’t able to stay on budget now.”

    Instead say, “You say you want more autonomy with your expense account and that would be helpful to you. What’s your plan for staying on budget?”

    When you feel a “but” coming, change it to an “and”. You’ll figure out the rest of the sentence as you go. It will sound more acceptable to the receiving party.

    3) Validate feelings. I know it sounds touchy feely but feelings drive Ray Lewis and Usain Bolt and Lebron James. They drive Richard Branson, Martha Stewart and Donald Trump. They drive Jordan Burroughs, Kyle Dake and Jake Varner. Feelings drive you and they drive those from whom you are trying to gain consensus.  If people simply feel “heard” they will be more accepting of any new initiative or change.

    For example: “You sound frustrated by…” or “You seem uncomfortable with the idea of…”

    4) When talking to group, thank people by name and find their piece of the input, even if minute or tangential, to gain their buy-in.

    For example, “You’re suggesting that we look at changing our sales strategy by integrating marketing and sales more closely. Thanks, Joe. ”

    These are just a few leadership skills that you can employ to build consensus. Enter your email below to download action plans full of tips from the most successful people on the planet who wrestled.


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