I will try to add some more confusion to this very interesting thread…First of all regardless of whether you utilize Persuasion or Direction as your preferred style – Leadership must always respect the Law…and his/her people (or followership).
Too, there is sometimes a negative connotation for the word ‘Persuasion,’ I am intrigued to understand why?
Anything that is expressed/deployed as a function of style needs to be analyzed in the context of the following two questions:
Is it sincere?
Is the intent honest?
Let me present a context for considering ‘Persuasion’ to carry a negative connotation:
You are attempting to ‘persuade’ an employee to follow a specific course of action, as opposed to what the employee was considering.
The Employee wants to explore another option within the Organization in terms of job role, but you feel (without letting the employee know) that the loss to your team would be significant and the skill, difficult to replace.
So you try to persuade the employee to stay with his/her current role because you anticipate potential growth in the short term (this is not based on fact but just a carrot you are dangling out).
Whereas if he/she considers moving into a brand new role, growth will take far longer to achieve.
The points to note are that your persuasive argument is insincere and not founded on fact.
In addition your intention is dishonest (Both ingredients that must be in place for a persuasive style to be perceived to be positive).
In most, if not all instances, we must lead with a persuasive style and only follow up with directive style, if persuasion fails. My example above would clearly not work if you tried to direct your employee to follow your recommendation, and revert to a persuasive style, when that failed?