Persuasion: The Most Important Skill in the C-Suite

September 25, 2014 by


Business professionals seeking to climb the corporate ladder face a wide array of obstacles and challenges. Internal candidate competition, external market conditions affecting budget, difficult-to-maneuver company policy… all of this and more can trip up fast-rising stars on their way to the C-Suite.

Of course, once you reach the corner office, everything is honk-dory, right? Think again. C-Level executives not only can’t stop learning, but must continue learning to stay where they are.

What kind of skill sets should they focus on? According to a study consisting of 32 interviews with top talent search consultants at a global executive placement firm, a “strong combination of technical skills and soft skills” comprises the core makeup hiring parties seek in C-Level players.

Strongly mentioned in the survey as well were team-building skills, beckoning a rather important question: Shouldn’t persuasive ability serve as one of the great building blocks of the executive skill set? Creating common ground and cooperative interaction between team members relies entirely on the ability to persuade other to come to your side.

To take that skill set and need one step farther, C-Level executives must be well-versed in both theory and practice. In the words of the study, they may be “expected to apply an analytical lens to team management and to be familiar with best practices (as opposed to managing by gut).”

In other words, C-Level executives require a set of tools that will help them get the job done, not just a gut go-to. But nothing suggests these tools have to come in the form a magic mixture or unusual equation. Smart executives will leverage the power of emotion for persuasion and lean on an understanding of people rather than process.

This is where 7 Triggers provides C-Level leaders the most support. By teaching executives an intimate knowledge of emotional triggers and how to either layer these triggers or use the perfect one for a given situation, our literature brings something actionable to the table for those looking to not only make it big but stay big, too.

As one consultant in the study said:

“[Leaders] need to be constantly testing how people are responding to them… and open to adjusting their style—both in how they communicate with different groups of people and how they change their leadership approach to suit the situation.”

We couldn’t agree more.

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