Being able to influence and persuade others is a skill leaders need in the workplace. Employers especially value persuasive skills because they impact so many aspects of the workplace resulting in increased productivity.
According to Cleverism, persuasion skills refer to the talent of changing the attitudes, beliefs, or behaviors of a person or group towards another person, group, event, object, or idea. It is usually done by conveying, in a message, some feelings, information, reasoning, or a combination. Persuasive skills are used to influence many different stakeholders.
The Persuasion Process
According to the Balancecareers.com, the process of persuasion typically involves the following stages:
1. Assessing the preferences, needs, and predispositions of a targeted individual or group.
2. Establishing a rapport with targeted stakeholders.
3. Clearly articulating the benefits of accepting a proposed agenda or course of action.
4. Actively listening to the concerns of stakeholders and uncovering any objections to a proposal.
5. Presenting counterpoints in order to overcome any objections.
6. Recognizing any legitimate limitations to a proposal.
7. Modifying a proposal as needed in order to find a common ground with stakeholders.
8. Clarifying the terms of any final agreement.
9. Conducting follow-up in order to determine if any stakeholders have lingering doubts about a proposal.
Now that we know the persuasion process, let’s take a look at how to improve our persuasion skills.
1. Establish credibility
Your credibility will help you convince people to believe in you. Improve your credibility by growing your expertise and building relationships with the people you need to persuade.
2. Find common ground
According to Cleverism.com, you must be able to frame your position in a manner that appeals to the audience. Frame your position such that it highlights its benefits to all the stakeholders.
3. Provide evidence
The use of stories, metaphors, and examples will help build your case and serve as evidence to prove your point.
4. Connect with your audience
Being able to connect with your audience will make you more reliable and believable.
According to Center for Creative Leadership, there are 6 areas, a leader must be skilled in, in order to be successful in persuading others.
1. Understanding and navigating organizational politics
In order to influence others, a good leader must know the formal and informal structures of an organization. A good leader must know the power dynamics of the organization or team that he/she is trying to influence.
2. Creating visibility
Stand out and get noticed! This is one way to boost your credibility and make persuading others easier.
3. Building and maintaining personal trustworthiness
Part of your credibility is your trustworthiness. If people trust in you, you will be able to influence them more.
4. Leveraging networks
Building and nurturing networks is another way to boost your credibility. Use your networks and relationships when the time comes for you to persuade others.
5. Clear communication
Clear written and verbal messages will help you communicate your point with more ease and with the right impact.
6. Motivating others
By motivating others, leaders create a climate in which people become engaged and empowered. People will like working with and for those leaders and will be more receptive to their influencing.