How To Win Hearts And Minds

Imagine if you had the tactics to connect successfully with all of those around you. To win over their hearts and minds.

It is not as easy as it would seem. I recently worked in collaboration with a CEO of a well-know company, he was struggling with motivating and engaging his team. This gentleman was an extremely talented and intelligent person, with an academic history that most people only dream of. Yet his wider team, although they understood his goals clearly, were lethargic and disengaged.

Looking from the outside, the problem was simple. He was a logical, evidence-driven communicator. This was the style of communication he naturally preferred and therefore that is how he communicated. In effect, he won the minds of his people, but not their hearts.

I am the opposite in the the way I communicate, my natural preference is to communicate to the heart, with passion and enthusiasm.

However to be an effective leader, we need the skills to communicate in a compelling manner to both the head and heart of our followers. We need the ability to adapt our style dependant on our audience and the subject matter.

The chances are you will, like me and the CEO, have a preference on how you like to communicate. If so, then the ability to consciously identify what style to use in each situation will be invaluable in improving your leadership.


Winning Hearts:

This is all about connecting with people emotionally and is particularly effective when:

  • Building interest on a new idea or concept
  • Gaining support for a decision that has already been made (ie launching an initiative that has been signed off)
  • Raising passions and performance on a current way of working
  • Leading a team that is struggling and low on moral

There are many ways to win hearts – my personal favourite is when the communication includes vivid descriptions, so people can visualise. Also the use of metaphors and stories is extremely powerful, as people can empathise, connect and understand in a simple and visceral manner.

Winning Minds:

This is about connecting with people in a logical, well-articulated manner, with fantastic positioning and analysis. The best times to utilise this communication style are:

  • When trying to persuade anyone of anything! At some point in the discussion a logical argument will be required.
  • Persuading a change in direction on something already decided
  • Advocating one decision over another
  • Addressing highly complex or a technical set of problems

When winning minds it is imperative that the message has been carefully constructed. Things to consider would be; describing the situation, why the subject needs attention, the common ground for all parties concerned, proof and the benefits.

Putting it together:

The truth of the matter is that most situations require communication to both hearts and minds. Imagine if you had the tactics to connect successfully with all of those around you. Hopefully this post has given you some food for thought on the tactics you can use.

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