By: Monique Betty
Persuasion, as described by the University of Kent, refers to the act of convincing other people to take the appropriate action. Throughout your career, there are many times that you will need to have the ability to persuade.
When you are giving presentations, you must be able to persuade the audience to believe and give credit to your ideas. If you are leading a team, you must be able to persuade people to follow you with confidence. When negotiating and completing sales, the power of persuasion can help you to close the deal on your own terms.
So, how can you improve your ability to persuade?
Focus on the Other Person’s Needs
When arguing a case, and trying to convince someone to accept your ideas, it is easy to become completely focused on your side of the story only. It is much more beneficial to shift attention to the other person.
Take the time to listen and get to know the other person’s wants, needs, interests, and goals. You will not only be showing respect, but you will also be gaining knowledge that will help you to frame your argument in a way that will appeal to the other person.
When persuading others, it is important that you are an expert on your topic. Do your research and have clear, verifiable support for all of your claims. This will allow you to be able to answer any questions and show compelling evidence for your side.
Most importantly, you will appear to the other person as the ultimate authority on your particular topic. You want to gain the trust and confidence of this person, so that you can convince them to take your side. It is much easier to do this when you have mastered your subject.
Instead of becoming defensive or combative during your negotiations or discussions, stay positive and complimentary. You want to charm the other person to see from your perspective; being negative will push them away and cause them to be defensive.
Even if you disagree with what the other person is saying, do not say, “You are wrong.” Acknowledge the point that was made, recognize that it does have value, and simply ask the person if they have considered your alternative point of view. Do not discredit the views and opinions of your colleagues, but instead show them how you can help.
Monique Betty is a Career Strategist and Leadership Consultant and it is her mission to support experienced professionals in achieving valuable contributions in the workplace and achieve the career success they desire.