Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Are You A Motivator? Take this simple test.

Here is a simple test to help you assess your own capabilities for persuading and ‘motivating’ others. Select just one answer for each statement below:
1. To convince others that you are credible and trustworthy do you . . .
A. Cite statistics
B. Share an anecdote
C. Use a combination of statistics and anecdote
2. Lee Iacocca has been named the salesperson of the century. Which of these sentences did he say?
A. "It is imperative for us to unite, to grit our teeth, to aspire to new heights."
B. "For in the dew of little things, the heart finds its morning and is refreshed."
C. "It's a leader's job to bring the bad news, to get people to believe things they don't want to believe, and then to go out and do things they don't want to do."
3. A persuasive leader . . .
A. Listens as much as he or she talks
B. Tells it like it is
C. Enjoys the use of power
4. People who are effective persuaders and motivators . . .
A. Use little words
B. Rely on current buzzwords
C. Teach their followers via very long words
5. Parallelism (deliberate repetition of words or phrases). . . .
A. Is annoying to listeners/readers
B. Creates a monotonous impression
C. Is an effective persuasive/motivational tool
6. Definitions . . .
A. Should be provided from a reputable source
B. Sound patronizing
C. Are most effective when newly coined
7. An expression such as 'our children are our future' . . .
A. Has lost its effectiveness due to overuse
B. Appeals to a broad spectrum of listeners/readers
C. Reminds us of purpose
8. 'The real challenge for business people is to get communication out of information' according to . . .
A. Former President George W. Bush
B. Management expert Peter Drucker
C. Futurist Alvin Toffler
9. Metaphors . . .
A. According to Aristotle, “when understood, represent the beginning of genius.”
B. According to management-guru Warren Bennis, “help effect change.”
C. According to Jose Ortega y Gasset, philosopher and Spanish Civil War revolutionary, “are the most fertile power on earth.”
10. ‘You can’t build a reputation on what you’re going to do.’ This statement was made by . . .
A. Franklin D. Roosevelt
B. Henry Ford
C. Abraham Lincoln

Here are the answers to the motivational leadership self-test. Give yorself one point for each correct answer:
1. B. Recent research confirmed that the anecdote by itself was most effective in establishing credibility.
2. C. This is the gutsy, direct, feisty style of this super-salesman, Lee Iacocca.
3. A. 'One of the best ways to persuade others is with your ears.' We fully agree with this assertion by statesman, Dean Rusk.
4. A. Winston Churchill may have said it best: 'Big men use little words.' Check out the words of others who have exerted great influence: Reverend Martin Luther King - 'I have a dream...' John F Kennedy - 'Ask not what your country can do for you…’
5. C. There are many examples of inspirational quotes containing lots of repetition, particularly from national leaders and politicians. They use repetition because repetition works. For example Churchill's WWII rallying speech, '....We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets...'
6. C. It's tedious and seldom informative to hear a dictionary definition. Much more persuasive is an original definition, for example, this by Lon Watters: ‘School is a building that has four walls with tomorrow inside.’
7. A. Sentences that are overused, obvious truisms, lose their power because people have heard them before and therefore become immune to what was once an original exciting expression. To restore power to such a thought, add an original spin. For example, ‘To protect our future, we must protect our children.’
8. B. Peter Drucker, Father of Modern Management Science, challenges all of us to convert data to meaningful thought.
9. A., B., C. Although they should not be mixed and used sparingly, the metaphor can create a truly lasting concept. The ‘Iron Curtain,’ for example, or the ‘Glass Ceiling.’
10. B. Henry Ford

Here is how to interpret your test score:
9-10 You have persuaded me. A score this high indicates a true gift. If you're not in a leadership position yet, you should be.
5-8 You know a great deal about the power of words. Ideally, you're using that power both wisely and well.
1-4 If you are a believer in continuous improvement, you will take the time to learn more about how to achieve goals and influence people by following this blog.
“The important thing is not to stop questioning.” – Albert Einstein

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