The Communicator's Ten Sources of Authority
If you are to persuade your listener, you must speak with authority. The more honourable the authority, the more enduring the message.
- Consequence-- simple, brutal, and the least effective: “If you don't listen to me, you'll be sorry!” When the threat is lifted, the authority evaporates.
- Masterful delivery, the pure art of communication. This is music, this is poetry, this is dazzling. Listeners are quickly won, but without more, they are quickly lost.
- Imparting expertise: “I have knowledge and skills which I can impart to you.” Only the highly motivated will follow this.
- Experience: “I have walked your path and I can make it easier for you." Good, but don't become a mere storyteller.
- Empathy: “I care about you and I want to understand what you need to tell me.” If not handled well, you become a mere cuddler.
- Wisdom: “Of all of your choices, I will help you pick the best.” Powerful, if you don't come off as pompous.
- Promise: “I will help you get what you most desire.” If you don't deliver, the room quickly empties!
- Trustworthiness: "I will do right by you, even if you never know it." Powerful and durable, must be constantly earned.
- Gravitas: the quality of inherent personal attractiveness. A marvelous quality which takes a lifetime of pain to acquire.
- Honour: Everyone stands up when you enter the room. Gravitas which has been recognized. A rare attribute, usually earned at tremendous cost. Worth the price to earn even a little of it.