Persuasion is a part of everyday life. People often want different things and building a consensus is difficult.
That’s where persuasion comes in. Whether it’s deciding on the next family car or choosing a business plan, you have to persuade others to get everybody on the same page.
Persuasion has got a bad rap over the years. People generally associate it with persistent salesmen trying to persuade you to buy an insurance policy or a new phone.
Sometimes people even associate persuasion with manipulation.
The Importance Of Persuading And Influencing
But persuasion and influencing skills are a set of carefully designed tactics that one can deploy to change the beliefs, attitudes or mindset of another person, and endorse your views.
The ability to persuade and influence people both within the organization and other stakeholders outside is a crucial skill in any executive's portfolio.
Knowing how to persuade someone to your point of view is an essential skill to negotiate successfully. It is also necessary to understand how to persuade people with effective communication to change their views.
How To Persuade Someone To Your Point Of View
Persuasion and influencing skills can be learned and honed through constant practice. The utility of negotiation and persuasion skills is not restricted to business situations. Persuasion and influencing skills come in handy in life in general. Let’s look at some practical ways to sharpen our persuasion and influencing skills.
Choose your words carefully
Set your pitch with words that will elicit a response. Using words that are more powerful in conveying your points is key to persuading and influencing. For example, if you want to tell someone that they need to be “better”, say they need to be “the best”. Choosing your words carefully vastly improves your negotiation and persuasion skills.
Never, ever talk down
Persuasion and negotiation involve complete control over a conversation. It is a critical rule in learning how to persuade people. Avoid talking down to a person and challenging them to a contest. Remember that there is a fine line between arrogance and being assertive. Take care not to come across as pushy and argumentative. While persuading and influencing, try not to make decisions for the other person.
Tailor your message to match the medium
Learning persuasion and negotiation involves understanding the other person well enough to tailor your message to them. As a general rule, face-to-face conversations work best. But if circumstances do not allow for it, then you need to be careful in choosing the right medium. It could be a phone-call, a video-call, an e-mail or a presentation. Just giving them the option to select a medium goes a long way in setting the stage for persuading and influencing. Many are more comfortable texting than talking face to face. Keep this in mind and choose a medium centered around them, not you.
Match their style of conversation
Listening carefully to how the person talks and watching their body-language are vital elements of negotiation and persuasion skills. Choosing your approach accordingly is extremely important in persuading and influencing. Do they avoid jargon? Speak to them simply. Do they make jokes and end their sentences with a smile? Match that with a relaxed style. If their language is measured and careful, avoid using dramatic gestures that could make them uncomfortable. Learn what works for persuasion and negotiation and apply it accordingly.
Let your speech flow smoothly
Avoid fillers such as "um," "uh" and "er". You could end up sounding unsure of your points of view. In persuasion and negotiation, always be clear and let your speech flow. The best way to do this is by practicing your speech at home or thinking for a second before speaking.
Pick the right time
In persuasion and negotiation, timing is everything. Pick the best time for a conversation. It is best not to barge in without notice unless the situation demands an urgent remedy. When you are persuading and influencing, choosing the right time increases your chances of success.
Structure your emotions
Do not overwhelm the person with enthusiasm and excitement that they don’t feel yet. Wait until the end of your pitch to show your enthusiasm. You will come across as sincere and good at negotiation and persuasion skills. Usually, it is good to start persuasion and negotiation on a cheerful but relaxed note and gradually grow more passionate about your pitch.
While the above pointers are essential to improve your negotiation and persuasion skills, there is so much more to communication. Harappa Education’s Negotiating Wisely course, for example, is an exciting online course that will teach you how to persuade someone. A section on the BATNA Framework of negotiation will equip you to arrive at the best alternatives to negotiated agreements. It teaches you to manage conflicts effectively to improve your persuasion and influencing skills.
Remember, you don't have to be a master salesman with boundless confidence to be more persuasive. You just have to pay closer attention to the basics so that you can skillfully turn the odds of success in your favor and learn how to persuade someone.
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