How to Massively Improve Your Persuasion Skills at Work
Try to take a look at your boss, your corporate leader, or someone who is at the top of their career ladder. You will notice a familiar trait that you can attribute to their success: persuasiveness. You might think to yourself, “Wow, these people must be really good at selling themselves.” You’re absolutely right. Persuasion is one of those things that can give you a massive boost at work.
Some people are born natural persuaders. Some of us, however, need a bit of practice. If you are one of those who need a bit of help in the persuasion department, here are some scientifically proven practices that can help you become more persuasive.
Act more confident
You might think only experts and data scientists can win an argument. However, research shows that humans prefer cockiness to expertise. The person who wins a crown over is not necessarily the most knowledgeable, but rather the most confident.
Convincing people to see your perspective and take your side is more about making them feel that they are believable rather than shoving facts to their faces. You can combine both efforts for a more cogent argument, but your confidence will still do all the muscle work in terms of persuasion.
To do this, you have to stand by your opinions and be enthusiastic about them. Stop saying things like “I think” or “I believe.” Do your best to say something with conviction and be bold and courageous.
There is a reason why salespeople are notorious for talking too fast. It is a simple way to persuade someone to agree with you, especially if they are skeptical or determined to disagree with your opinion.
If you talk faster, science says you give the listening party less time to form countering arguments. On top of that, with people’s limited attention span, you are less likely to lose someone’s interest if you say everything you need to say without taking too much of their time.
However, the same cannot be said for people who already share the same viewpoint as you. They might appreciate it if you talk a bit slower to give them more time to combine their biases with your input and come to a more robust conclusion. But then again, you won’t really need persuasion for people who are already on your side.
Share the pros AND the cons.
When trying to persuade someone to take to your opinion, such as persuading your boss to approve your proposal, you might feel tempted to just lay out the goods without mentioning the flaws of your idea. You might be afraid that if they know that one little disadvantage, it would entirely put them off and decline your request.
However, people naturally know that nothing is perfect. We are programmed to be suspicious of things that are “too good to be true.” In fact, research even shows that people are more likely to appreciate opposing viewpoints than a one-sided argument.
So how do you make this work for you? Lay out all of the facts. If you get to the point that you need to discuss possible misgivings, turn it back around by proposing ways to work around it or mitigate any errors. Try it. You will instantly appear more realistic, and therefore, more persuasive.
Make positive conclusion statements.
Between “the company will cut down on losses” and “the company will increase its revenue,” Which do you think sounds more appealing? How about “I will make fewer mistakes” versus “I will be more accurate”? The former statements contain so many negatives that it can put anyone off instantly. On the flip side, the latter statements seem much more optimistic and proactive.
People feel drawn to happy endings, which is why about 95% of movies end on a positive note. People naturally react negatively when being threatened or guilted into doing something. If you want to create an impact or enforce change, do it from a positive stance. Take your listening audience somewhere nice, instead of forcing them to see the consequences of not believing you.
Tailor your approach to your audience
Knowing the person you are about to persuade, their attitudes and perceptions, and their decision-making methods, can potentially make or break your efforts of persuasion. Understand that there are people who like to take their time when forming conclusions. Alternatively, some people want to decide in the spur of the moment and have no patience to wait or ponder.
Some people like to feel that their input is valuable and will appreciate it if you take things slow with them. On the other hand, if someone is always in a rush and wants to move on, dragging things and seeking opinions may quickly bore them. Take the time to find out which type of person your audience is. This is especially easy if you work closely with them, like if they were your colleague or your boss.
Research your facts beforehand
Above all, when trying to be persuasive, make sure that you are right. Take the time to smooth out the wrinkles in your arguments and fill the holes and cracks you see. This is not to totally negate the first tip about acting confident, but rather to supplement your bravado with substance.
Don’t just try to win over a crowd without any basis whatsoever. Ensure that you can back your confidence and persuasive techniques with concrete facts. Assuming that the group or person you are trying to persuade has some idea of what you are talking about, you can’t just spew total nonsense and expect them to believe you. It has to at least have a verifiable foundation.
Ultimate Persuasion Strategies – Secret Influence Tools And Skills is an online resource that teaches you the tricks and skills you need to become more persuasive at work, in relationships, and for personal development.