A recent issue of Harvard Business Review asked Zakary Tormala of Stanford Business School to defend his research which concluded that experts are more persuasive when they are less certain.
Simon Hayward from Cirrus commented:
“Very interesting research, particularly in the current climate. People in organisations really want honesty from their leaders now. They can accept uncertainty and even bad news if leaders are open and honest.
The trouble is that many leaders are reluctant to appear uncertain because they equate it with weakness, and they fear appearing weak. They feel it will undermine their credibility, or – a big fear for more autocratic leaders – their authority. Appearing unsure or even vulnerable at times is actually fine – others are much more likely to emphathise and understand than to be judgmental or scathing. For many leaders, appearing uncertain is a very long way from their comfort zone – but a step well worth taking.”