Friday, 19 February 2016


Persuade person with elegance


At some point everyone tries to persuade someone else for something. It may be selling a product or lobbying for a promotion or even just trying to win a debate competition.  As we face challenges from the person/persons we are trying to persuade, we try to be push harder.  But, the harder you push the more people have a tendency to get defensive and back away. This is one of the most important challenges faced by a leader / person when one tries to get the work done from his / her subordinates / colleagues.
Good persuasion is a skill. It's a give and take allowing for people to move at their own pace with some steady nudging. Some are good at it but others needed to learn it from scratch. But both have to continuously practice it. There are a number of effective and inoffensive considerations and techniques that can help with pleasant persuasion.

Make it discreet

Often, talking through a point gets lost. People have a strong inner voice that defends their point of view and blocks out words from the persuader. Visuals are the best way to get around it. There is a saying that you can ignore the ears not the eyes. Any type of visuals will do - Charts, graphs, or even rough sketches on a scrap paper will help. People see ideas in a whole new light when it is staring at them. Put on your creative hats and get visuals.

Both side of the coin

Every view has its advantage and disadvantage. Every coin has two sides, we all understand that. Presenting both of them gives an aura of authenticity and is more persuasive than sticking solely to your argument. People are likely to be more persuaded when they know you have looked at the both aspect and have taken logical decision that the positives outweighs the negatives. It would be also an added advantage if you can show them that the way to mitigate the problems. So talk about the other side of the argument... and then do your best to show why you're still right.

Be dispassionate

Don’t get yourself involved. The art of persuasiveness requires you to show that you are in command, you have the confidence and that the success of the proposal is not solely beneficial of you. Take yourself out and project how it can help others, the party, the persons / groups / families / companies they care about. Your option have something better for everybody around here than any of the other options available to them at present. Look them in the eye, be patient with objections, and let them know that you care.  Let them understand that you are willing to go back to the drawing board if they can show you a better way. Never make them feel you are desperate – then your proposal will never fly.

allign yourself

Do you remember the old story of the wind and the sun arguing over who could get a man's coat off. The wind blew and blew, but the man just wrapped the coat tighter. That's exactly how being pushy works. After the wind failed to blow the coat off, the sun simply shone and the man took it off by himself.  The best way to influence a person is to warm him up by aligning yourself to his/her views. The more you are able to align the better he will be supportive to your views. For that you have to understand your audience and mould your logic / ways of delivering to align with them. To do this one of the better ways is to be interactive, ask them questions hear their views and try to process them,

The selfish question

One of the other way to be persuasive is to show the audience that they will benefit. Answer their unsaid question – What do I get? A person always wants to act for their own interest. If you can convince that following your idea is for their own interest, they will benefit from it, you have own the battle. No more need to be pushy any more. Remember the previous point to be dispassionate.

Be supportive

The last but not the least – be helpful / supportive. This is probably the most powerful weapon in the arsenal. The ultimate goal of persuasion is to have the power to be able to influence others. If any person need a second view, have any doubt he will run to the person whom he knows is supportive, who will provide his feedback without any prejudice. So be helpful / supportive. Provide connections and knowledge freely, make yourself as the go-to resource.

If others starts seeking you out to solve their problems through your network and knowledge, you are in the perfect place to persuade them and convince them that you / your views are the solution to their problem. 

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