Seduction as a valuable skill for the Project Manager

We have a lot of misconceptions that we cannot ever imagine it as a positive skillset for the project manager. We typically associate seduction with something negative because we consider it the less honest or acceptable form of influence. People who are easily seduced to some degree feel manipulated into the situation. When we think of gender roles, it is not even a question that men are permitted a lot more freedom than women to seduce. And when we think of work we may considered unprofessional.

Let me give you an example, some people say that money is bad, but the money itself is not bad, right? It comes down to money gives you power, and power can be used for good or for bad purposes; it comes down to who you are inside. Seduction is exactly the same, it comes down to your DNA and what you choose to do with it. I choose to make seduction classy, and to add it to my authenticity and integrity. Seduction is really about your untapped power that you are not using, that you want to unleash.

Would we tell superman not to stop a bullet? Or a project manager not to control a project? But of course, not. I believe seduction is about charm, connection, vulnerability, pride, self-confidence, appeal. I’m one of those lucky ones, that gets to go Central America and Caribbean countries very frequently because of my business services. And I have been observing this culture for a very long time, seeing how aware they seem to be of their seductive powers. You can say that in many ways it has been like a seduction observatory for me, where I get to study seduction and understand how they use it better. Why not to learn from them as a project management business man? I need to seduce customers to buy my products and services.

And in those Central America countries I found a combination of things, that I have not found yet anywhere else in the world. I strongly believe that we can learn from those countries about life and seduction. Having said that, if we were to try and take seduction and break it into some kind of formula, what would that look like?

  1. Desire

It means knowing what you want and having the willingness to go after it. For instance, in Cuba, rumba is the game of seduction between the man and the woman. The woman is the flirty hen and the guy is the seductive rooster. The woman uses her body to seduce the men to say, “want it? come and get it”. The guy on the other hand will use his body to demonstrate his masculinity.

  1. Confidence

For instance, in Cuba, people are praised from early ages by their relatives every time they do something. So, they are not shy at all. They are willing to do new things with the confidence that they are good on it. Those people and professionals are very confident in themselves during their complete life. I observed them in many situations in life and business.

  1. Body Language

They use their body language also from an early age. They dance everywhere, they express their feelings in a very open way in front of the people. So, they practice the body language day by day in their lives. They are very well skilled on body language communication. Body language is more than 55% of our communication.

  1. Arousal

They are very stimulated to achieve results. They do not admit a “NO” when there are requesting something. They insist, like a “mosquito” to be able to transform a “NO” to an “may be”. Every time they are dealing with a customer they feel and demonstrate are very excited. So that’s positively contagious in many occasions in business.

You as a project manager may use “seduction” with your customers and other project stakeholders, using all four (desire, confidence, body language and arousal) together to get the customer buy in or just moving forward in project negotiation. Somebody may think about seduction like a type of persuasion, however the tools to be used are a little bit different.

Today is a good day to develop your seduction skills as a project manager because you need to influence without authority. That way tomorrow will be better.

Alfonso Bucero, MSc, PMP, PMI-RMP, PfMP, PMI Fellow

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