The ability to persuade or influence others is a valuable skill to have.
We’re constantly being persuaded in our daily lives through advertising messages, conversations we have or things we’re required to get done. The more persuasive we are, the quicker and easier we can accomplish what we want.
What does it mean to be a persuasive person?
Being a persuasive person means being able to positively affect the thoughts, emotions and actions of another person to accomplish a desired outcome, that’s beneficial to both.
A persuasive person is able to build a picture of a better result or future in the mind’s eye of another person and cause that person to willingly take action to make that result or future a reality.
Some of the characteristics of persuasive people include:
- They’re goal-oriented.
- They’re future or possibility thinkers.
- They tend to show leadership qualities.
- They focused and effective.
- They like getting things done.
The more persuasive we become, the better results we’ll achieve for ourselves and others.
A few years ago, I was involved in a project with a couple of colleagues and even though we had different areas of expertise and experience, I felt we needed to have a common understanding of what we wanted to accomplish. In order to do that, I thought it would be beneficial if we enrolled in an online course which would teach us the systems and processes we needed to achieve our objective.
The online course was not cheap but compared to the value I knew we would gain from going through it, I felt the investment would be worth it. In order to convince and persuade my colleagues to agree to sign up to the course, I had to paint a picture of what could be possible if we all went through the course together and how it would benefit our project.
Looking back, I could have taken a quicker and easier approach by having a conversation together, however at that time, I built the case via an email, outlining what I thought could happen as a result of enrolling in the course.
They both agreed that the course would benefit us and accepted my invitation to sign up for it. We split the investment equally amongst ourselves and were able to apply ideas we learned from the course to the project we were working on at that time.
By being able to persuade them, not only did I achieve positive outcomes, I’d like to think that I also assisted them in achieved in achieving similar outcomes.
5 Things to Remember if You Want to Be a More Persuasive Person
- Have a clear intention or outcome. In order to be able to persuade someone, we have to know what it is we want to persuade them on. If we don’t know what we want, we won’t be able to confidently persuade someone else because our lack of clarity will be reflected in how we’re communicating.
- Know what the other person wants. Zig Ziglar had a famous quote, “You can get anything you want if you help enough other people get what they want.” By knowing what the other person wants or what’s important to them, we can direct our communication to help them see they can also get what they want if they’re willing to agree to what we want.
- Communicate clearly. By communicating clearly, we have a better chance of creating a connection with the other person. Asking questions and letting the other person speak more will ensure they feel acknowledged and heard, which greatly increases our ability to positively influence them.
- Be flexible and willing to make changes, if appropriate. Sometimes we have to see things from the other person’s perspective and be willing to adapt. This doesn’t mean we’re losing out on something. Sometimes, by willing to be flexible, we can reach a much better outcome than one we initially had thought of.
- Always tell the truth. We don’t want to persuade others or try to influence them by being dishonest or manipulative. There will be times when things won’t work out as we intended and as long as we remain in integrity, we really haven’t lost out on anything. If the other person doesn’t believe what we’re saying, our chances of positively persuading them are virtually non-existent.
Practical Tips to Be More Persuasive
- Smile when conversing with other person.
- Use positive body language.
- Say the person’s name numerous times during a conversation.
- Listen more than you speak.
- Give compliments or praise, where appropriate.
- Be mindful of the energy that’s present and respond accordingly.
- Be confident and believe in yourself.
Learning to be a more persuasive person always starts with doing simple things. The more consistently we do them, the higher the chances they’ll become a part of how we communicate and how we do things.
Question: What is something else to keep in mind if we want to become a more persuasive person?
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