MANY of an organisation’s decisions are about future actions. These decisions can be immediate, mid-term or long-term.

In boom times, when the economy is humming along nicely, it is easier to articulate our plans and ideas to colleagues, management, team members and clients because they have a positive aura to them.

Uncertain times test your mettle as a manager when you need to inspire, influence and get your teams to rally together amidst the gloom to do things differently.

Ordinary communication skills are insufficient to do the task. You need to take on a different approach so that you are able to persuade, influence and get people to subscribe to new initiatives that will move them beyond their comfort zones.

Gone are the days of dependency when information was delivered top-down. These days, you as a manager need to win over your bosses, subordinates and colleagues with your ideas and opinions.

Now, more than ever, you need to persuade others to cooperate with you to get the job done.

Using force or fear may be possible but it is certainly not wise, because you won’t win your people’s trust or loyalty this way.

Are facts a good persuasion tool? Well, most people know about the benefits of eating right and exercising.

But they don’t do this even though they know that a healthy diet and regular activity lengthen their lives, keep them in shape and put a spring in their step.

Perhaps the answer lies in using “smart talk”. It is about giving hope to others.

It is painting a picture of a desirable future and aligning that future to people’s needs and values.

It’s about using real stories to inspire, teach and show others what to do. It’s about creating a motivating environment that induces others to want to follow you.

The best form of change is from the inside out. Managers who are passionate about what they do are energised people.

They can effectively use smart talk to engage team members to rally to a call to do their duty.

Holocaust survivor and psychiatrist Viktor Frankl wrote about this in his best-selling book, Man’s Search For Meaning.

Put simply, when the chips are down, as long as a person has something of importance to be done, then he will strive to fulfil that purpose.

Smart talk engages that yearning, that desire to do your very best. It is by far, the most effective way to engage, persuade and influence others.

Learn how to use smart talk and sway others to a greater cause — it will pay you great dividends as a manager and leader of people.