Persuasive Leadership

Persuasive Leadership

Discover how to master your internal power and political networks in this three-day, highly experiential persuasive leadership workshop. Through theatre-based methods you will learn fundamental knowledge of the structural, tactical and psychological dimensions of persuasion. Using established leadership theories of persuasion, influencing and corporate politics, you will be able to practise and build your influence throughout your organisation.

Conquering corporate politics

Do you find company politics and power structures challenging? Is your company experiencing increasing levels of volatility, complexity, and ambiguity?

Leaders in organisational environments like this need to be more aware of subtle stimuli and changes so that they can exercise influence rather than control. Being able to influence and persuade those around you is important for advancing careers, influencing policy and practice, managing change, and building relationships with existing – and potential – business partners.

In this intensive three-day RSM executive education course, you will learn the structural, tactical and psychological dimensions of persuasion. You will gain valuable experiences and leadership skills using a broad range of unusual but effective approaches and interactions, to act with greater confidence and tactical mastery within your organisation. 

Learning objectives

After this three-day management programme, you will be able to:

  • use persuasive tools effectively
  • develop your own persuasive leadership style
  • avoid behaviour that is counterproductive
  • lead and influence highly experienced people
  • deal with corporate politics
  • develop your circle of influence and expand it
  • determine benefits and costs of various influence techniques
  • diagnose the political influence network within and outside of your organisation
  • develop and implement strategies to effectively influence stakeholders, including customers, colleagues and board members.
  • This programme is for senior managers, or those about to enter senior management, who have substantial leadership experience from any department, discipline, or industry. Experience in a multi-stakeholder environment is helpful, although not required. For example:

    • department managers or directors seeking more influence at board level
    • senior managers needing to develop more impactful messages and to convey them upward and downward in an influential way
    • middle managers seeking to move upwards and needing to be influential and powerful through skilful communication
    • senior managers, or those who are about to become senior managers, seeking a way through the maze of corporate politics.


    If you want to focus on aligning your body language and voice with the message you wish to convey, take a look at The Power of Presence. If you want to enhance your personal effectiveness at building trust-based relationships and influencing stakeholders, take a look at The Power of Storytelling.

  • Here’s what previous participants say about RSM's Persuasive Leadership programme:

    “My company is very focused on networking. Apart from facts, it’s all about how I tell the story to win over people’s hearts. By joining the Persuasive Leadership course I put thought into crafting this story and how to reach goals. Drafting your social network, writing down your goals and reflecting on how I spend my time helped me to create a framework for the long term. I learned to be honest in what I want and how I want to achieve it. The programme is a well-balanced mix of scientific articles, workshops and coaching. Very unconventional and sometimes even out of my comfort zone, it helped me to become more self-aware, realistic and satisfied. I highly recommend this course if you would like to influence more from your heart.”
    Marina Slinkman, recruitment manager Europe, CRH Building Materials

    “I came to RSM to learn something completely out of my field of expertise. Persuasive Leadership is the best course I’ve ever done. The committed teacher and guest lecturer delivered a great combination of theory and practice, and stimulated reflection on leadership and interaction. The diversity among participants added value to our discussions about leadership. We explored how to build networks and why this is relevant for your own ambitions. We also learned through storytelling and our own experiences. All in all, I highly recommend this programme.”
    Maarten Paulides, associate professor in radiation oncology department, Erasmus MC Cancer Institute

    My thoughts so far… I have used the networking capability I learned to handle challenging obstacles and to open doors and opportunities; I’m now a step closer to my goals. I realised that the session on ‘persuasion and lessons from the arts’ in the programme taught me that using one’s body expressions sets a different tone to help one deal with people (clients, colleagues, patients) and to understand them in order to achieve a better outcome. This ability has made me more compassionate – not just to myself but also to others. The programme has a unique approach to developing the business leaders of tomorrow and also for leaders of today. It has encouraged multidisciplinary thinking and exploration, which will help me advance myself and my capability, hence contributing to the growth of the company I work for."
    Dr Ui May Tan, health and wellbeing clinical lead, Vhi Healthcare DAC

  • During the Persuasive Leadership Programme you will learn from Fleur de Lima and Prof. Patrick Flood. Occasionally we may substitute other faculty members according to the content of the programme and their availability.

    Fleur de Lima
    Fleur de Lima is a business transformation director Change & Learning at GKN Aerospace, and an accomplished executive trainer, facilitator and coach. She is passionate about working on corporate and theatre performances. Fleur is founder and owner of Performance in Business, applied lessons from the arts in leadership- and organisational development, and of TAT (The Art of Theatre), an international theatre company. Her PhD research focuses on the utility of theatre-based OD interventions in organisational change. Fleur is visiting faculty at RSM and at Cambridge Judge Business School, where she teaches leadership development, HR and change.

    Prof. Patrick Flood
    Patrick Flood is professor of organisational behaviour at Dublin City University, and co-author of Persuasive Leadership: Lessons from the Arts and 10 other books. He is an award-winning researcher, consultant and international teacher of organisational behaviour, leadership and change management, and an elected Fellow of the UK’s Academy of Social Sciences (FAcSS). He advises start-ups and top management teams on functioning and leadership development to improve the effectiveness of organisations. His research work focuses on the impact of leadership and human resource practices on organisational performance, and he has worked at business schools in North America, Europe, Asia and Australasia.

  • Dates

    14 - 16 September 2020 > Apply now
    16 - 18 November 2020 > Apply now

    17 - 19 May 2021 > Apply now
    27 - 29 September 2021 > Apply now


    € 3,000 (excl. 21% VAT) including course materials, lunches, and snacks.

    € 3,200 (excl. 21% VAT) including course materials, lunches, and snacks.

    These fees do not include hotel accommodation.

    10% discount for alumni from Erasmus University Rotterdam and RSM. More information about the discount.

    General terms and conditions

    Our general terms and conditions apply when you register for an open programme. Please review them to learn more about our policies for cancellation, deferral and substitution.


    The programme takes place in the Bayle building on the Woudestein Campus of Erasmus University Rotterdam. 

    Hotel accommodation

    We recommend Novotel Rotterdam Brainpark Hotel, adjacent to the university and less than five minutes’ walk from campus. Participants benefit from special rates.

  • The three-day programme Persuasive Leadership runs on several dates. Please select the one that suits you most to register: