How to Get Others to Follow Your Lead: Make People Do What You Want

Making people do what you want doesn’t have to involve manipulation or coercion. In fact, true leadership involves inspiring others to follow your lead willingly. Whether you’re a business owner, manager, or simply looking to improve your communication skills, there are specific strategies you can use to increase your influence and get others on board with your ideas.

Earn Trust

Building trust is essential for establishing yourself as a leader others will follow. Without trust, your team or audience may question your motives or feel hesitant to support your ideas.

Be Authentic

Authenticity is key when it comes to building trust. People can usually tell when someone is being fake or insincere, so it’s important to be genuine in all your interactions. Share your opinions and ideas openly, and be willing to admit when you don’t know something.

Communicate Clearly

Clear communication can help earn trust by ensuring everyone is on the same page. When communicating, be concise and avoid using jargon or complex language that could confuse others. Make sure everyone understands the goals and expectations, and follow up to ensure everyone is on track.

Set a Positive Example

If you want others to follow your lead, you need to set a positive example. This means modeling the behavior you want others to adopt and staying true to your values.

Show Confidence

If you’re confident in your decisions and actions, others are likely to feel more comfortable following your lead. Project confidence through your body language and tone of voice, and avoid second-guessing yourself in front of others.

Be Accountable

Taking responsibility for your actions and owning up to mistakes can demonstrate integrity and make others more likely to trust and follow you. When something goes wrong, admit the mistake and work to fix the issue.

Listen and Empathize

To be an effective leader, you must be able to connect with and understand others. This involves active listening and showing empathy for their perspective.

Show Interest

When someone is speaking to you, give them your full attention. Make eye contact, ask questions, and show that you care about what they have to say.

Put Yourself in Their Shoes

Empathy is the ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and understand their perspective. Try to see the situation from their point of view, and show that you understand and value their feelings.

Provide Feedback

Providing constructive feedback can help others improve and grow, which will ultimately make them more likely to follow your lead.

Be Specific

When giving feedback, be specific about what the person did well and what they can improve on. Use examples and be clear about your expectations.

Focus on Development

Feedback should be focused on helping the person grow and develop, rather than being critical or negative. Frame feedback in a positive light, and be supportive as the person works to improve.

Create a Shared Vision

To get others to follow your lead, you need to create a shared vision or goal that everyone is working towards.

Be Inclusive

Involve everyone in the process of creating the vision, and ensure that everyone’s input is valued. This can help create a sense of ownership and motivate others to work towards the shared goal.

Communicate the Vision

Once the vision is established, communicate it clearly and regularly to ensure everyone is on board. Use visual aids, storytelling, and other techniques to make the vision come to life and inspire others.


Getting others to follow your lead involves building trust, setting a positive example, listening and empathizing, providing feedback, and creating a shared vision. By practicing these strategies, you can become a more effective leader and inspire others to join you in achieving your goals.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why is it important to earn trust as a leader?
  • Earning trust is important because it helps establish your credibility and ensure others are willing to follow your lead.

  • What are some common mistakes leaders make when trying to get others to follow?
  • Some common mistakes include micromanaging, being too controlling, and failing to listen to others’ perspectives.

  • How can I improve my communication skills as a leader?
  • You can improve your communication skills by practicing active listening, being concise, and avoiding jargon or complex language that could confuse others.

  • What should I do if someone on my team isn’t following my lead?
  • If someone isn’t following your lead, try to understand their perspective and work to come up with a solution that addresses their concerns while still achieving your goals.



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