The power of persuasion
Telling vs. Trading!
Welcome to 2019. Are you ready for another year of being awesome, knowing your worth, getting your worth and not settling? Yep, we are too.
So the killer word on the employment street right now is PERSUASION.
Persuasion has been reported as one of the key skills companies are looking for in their potential new employee. Well, if LinkedIn reports the fact than who am I to argue, right?
Yes, ladies we now need to master the art of persuasion. Let’s face it, being persuasive is part of everyday life and is no big revelation or something we now need to look too perfect.
When I first started to think about what persuasion actually means to me and my clients, I also immediately thought about the word negotiation and some people make the mistake of believing they are the same thing.
Both words are very powerful and extremely useful in our work lives and careers. They are two skills that, when mastered, can make our careers way more rewarding.
They can both also grow our self-esteem and confidence in our own abilities to essentially get what we want and, in most cases, deserve what we get.
In any workday scenario, both words will be found in the boardroom and even the work kitchen (negotiating where to put your lunch in the communal fridge can be just as important!)
BUT do not be fooled, persuasion and negotiation are actually polar opposites.
Persuasion is a form of telling and Negotiation is a form of trading
So how can you turn yourself into a persuasive trader? Let’s start with some insight.
The many faces of Persuasion
You can use persuasion in so many positive ways. The skill of persuasion not only improves career opportunities and progression, but it can also help you better communicate exactly what you want.
Put simply, persuasion is the action or process of persuading someone to do or believe something.
In the workplace, there are typically five tactics you can and will use along the persuasive journey. In most cases you will not be aware of the tactics, your mind translates this information in milliseconds.
Observing - You assess the preferences, needs, and predispositions of the situation
Explaining - Get them on your side - build rapport!
Selling & Influencing - Communicate exactly what your thoughts, desires or needs are
Debating - Listen to the feedback and present counterpoints to overcome objections
Challenging and Outcome - Recognizing any points which you actually agree with
Let me put this in simple terms and say Hi to Jeff:
You are in a meeting and as the presenter, you recognize your colleagues are thirsty and would probably appreciate a coffee. Geoff has been chosen to go and buy coffee, but he is reluctant as it is cold outside. You gently remind him it is his turn and he gets to go enjoy a walk away from the meeting and actually get some fresh air. You listen to him complain some more and then remind him again that although you agree it is cold, it is his turn and he is usually the only one who manages to get all the orders right.
He is great at taking the coffee orders.
At this point Jeff will likely accept for one of two reasons:
It is a really dull meeting and Jeff realizes that indeed getting out of it is a good thing, even if it means venturing through the cold.
He realizes he can be the hero of the story because he’s the only one who can be trusted to carry out the mission successfully.
Here’s the secret: More than likely, Jeff will comply because of reason B. Why? Because as humans, the world revolves around us and our story… and we all thrive when presented with the opportunity to further our Hero status within our own little world.
Let out your Inner Persuasion Goddess
Yep, I know she is in there somewhere.
Being persuasive is actually a very feminine way of cultivating great relationships in the workplace. By using a few key skills you may just find yourself on the end of respect and even a pay rise.
The following three can be used to further strengthen your inner persuasive goddess (or god).
Persuasion is usually all about the other person and rarely about you.
Think about appealing to their ego and vanity and I don’t mean in a ‘Oh your so handsome or beautiful kinda way’ I mean in a ‘You are so great with spreadsheets kinda way’. Sincere compliments will be greatly received. Make them feel valued.
Use evidence-based information
Sure, it was easy to persuade Jeff to go and buy coffee as there was not much to lose or gain. In a boardroom decision-making scenario, persuading a manager to increase your budget for the new project may need a bit more substance as to why they should and what do they have to gain or even lose. Collect evidence to support how his/her interests will benefit.
Confidence in your conviction
You need to show wholeheartedly you believe in the end result. If you are looking to persuade a line manager to let staff leave half an hour early on a Friday, have confidence in that conviction. Persuasion should come from a place of conviction and not manipulation.
If you can master the above, you will most certainly be on the way to becoming a Persuasive Goddess.
As I have said many of these processes will come naturally to you and you will not even have to think about them. If you know you have a weakness in one area, recognize it and work on it.