How can some people be so persuasive while others can’t seem to convince anyone to do anything? Persuasion is part art and part science. Some people are born with the charisma that the rest of us lack. But anyone can become more persuasive with the right approach. Anyone that can read or write can influence others effectively.
What would it mean to your professional and personal life if you could reliably influence others? Few skills are as wide-ranging in their benefits.
Persuade others to your way of thinking:
- Create a connection with those you wish to influence. Whether you’re trying to influence one person or a thousand, it’s important to create rapport. The level of trust and connection you can establish will directly affect your ability to influence others. This is an important first step. There are many ways to establish a connection.
- Show what you have in common.
- Mirror the other person’s body language.
- Be honest and genuine.
- Show others that you can be trusted.
- Be convincing. You might feel small and insecure, but presenting yourself that way won’t convince anyone that you are worth following. There are several ways we show a lack of conviction, such as body language, using qualifiers like “I think, probably, maybe and possibly,” and lack of eye contact.
- Stand tall, look them in the eye, and present your opinion like it’s an obvious fact. Your confidence is key.
- Use reciprocity to your advantage. Studies show that you’re much more likely to return a favor after someone does something for you. That’s why the people that knock on your door and try to sell you vinyl siding give you a pen or a magnet. They know that you’ll be more likely to purchase from them.
- Do something for the person you’re trying to persuade. You might by them lunch, drive them to the airport, or let them borrow a cup of sugar. Do something for them before you attempt to persuade them. Your odds of success will go up dramatically.
- Consider their interests. Even the most noble of people wonder what’s in it for them. Make it clear what they’ll be receiving out of the deal. Your neighbor might not want to sign off on your idea of building a fence between your respective properties. However, he might change his mind if you can show him the benefits he’ll enjoy.
- You might point out that your dog will stay out of his yard and stop dropping presents.
- It might help the resale value of his house.
- It might cut down on the weeds in your yard spreading to his.
- It will increase his level of privacy.
- Be a good listener. The other party matters a lot. We tend to only consider ourselves when we’re trying to be influential, but this is a grave mistake. Open your ears and close your mouth. When you understand the needs of the other person, you’ll know how to influence them.
- Establish yourself as an authority. If you’ve spent time with the Dalai Lama and wrote three books on meditation, your opinions on meditation are more likely to be respected. Dressing in a suit would convey authority in the right setting.
Persuasion is a highly researched field. There are numerous resources if you wish to learn more. The ability to influence others is useful both in and outside of work. Invest some time in practicing this valuable skill. You’ll be glad you did!