How to Use the Power of Suggestion Like a Leader

Thank goodness they didn’t make us read the potential side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine when we arrived for our second shot.

I shouldn’t have read the two page ‘death manual’ when we arrived for the first shot! By the time we were seated in the cramped exam room, I felt my throat constricting. I was sure I had anaphylactic shock. Even though I hadn’t received the shot yet.

Needle. Vaccination.

I feel side effects before I get the shot. Do you?

I thought about the wife of a friend who ended up in the hospital after her shot. I was pretty sure I would too.

My friend’s wife got Bell’s Palsy. Her face drooped on the left side. Was it a stroke? Thankfully, about a week later, her face returned to normal. But she was still drooping when we rolled up our sleeves the first time. I felt my face drooping.

Before the nurse administered the shot, with a straight face, I told her my throat was constricting. She laughed. The same thing happened to her. Our son is a Physician Assistant. He wondered if he was having trouble breathing before he got his shot. It’s not comforting that professionals imagine side effects like the rest of us.

The power of suggestion is real. What are you suggesting to yourself? What are you suggesting to your team?

You’re worried about a million things. Keep most of them to yourself. Unless you want to suggest that your team is completely incompetent, bring up concerns with confidence.

If you wonder what’s being done to prevent a problem or reach a goal, ask. But please don’t constantly wring your hands. Suggesting people will fail may encourage failure.

What shifts in your thinking if you walk around suggesting people will succeed? (I’m not suggesting you ignore challenges. Just reflect on your approach.)

What energizing suggestions might you make today?

Influence is Easy – Just Drop a Few Hints

How Hints, Expectations, and the Power of Suggestion Influence Others