Monday February 27, 2012
By Dipesh Patel, work experience student at learnpurple
Award winning American illusionist Seth Freeman issued the challenge to think about the following statement: The quality of your life is determined by your ability to influence and persuade? He went on to ask his audience where would they would be without the ability to persuade others or even themselves? This may sound appropriate for a stage illusionist but think about it... we all exercise the power to persuade daily.
We usually start with using this on ourselves: If I had no power to persuade myself them I would not be sitting here at a learnpurple desk writing this blog, or even be able to choose this topic for the blog. From the time each of us get up in the morning until the time we go to bed at night, each of us are continually negotiating, communicating, persuading, influencing and trying to get people (and ourselves) to cooperate in getting things done.
I started thinking about these two different types of persuasion.
The one that I think that is more important is persuading your own self to commit to your actions or what you say. If you feel that you can't persuade yourself then you will most probably come over as a nervous, self-conscious and awkward person. Without the ability to persaude yourself to commit you would be at a stalemate in your life. This is all hyperbolic though, most people can persuade themselves but find themselves lacking the confidence to make the decision promptly and need will always need someone else to advise or persuade you to do so.
The next cruical ability is the to persuade others. This is the business side to persuasion - Without persuasion then nothing can be achieved. In commercial business this is especially true as you have to persuade others to become involved and committed to your products, services or company values. Especially in modern times with this atrocious recession we are currently in.
In the book Influence: Science and Practice by Dr Robert Cialidi, one of the world's leading experts in the field of persuasion, he reveals five universal principals everyone needs for business and personal success:
1. Get in the Shoes of those you wish to Persuade: Always think why the other person would be influenced by you, Do the ground work first – always do your research on how would they benefit from the solution you have to offer. Persuasion is most effecive when mutally beneficial
2. Get Credible: Credibility is a must for effective persuasion and influence. Are you knowledgeable enough to persuade others to act according to your idea? Credibility comes from your experience – your past and present achievements. Work on how you can present these before you approach
3. Be an Effective Communicator: How effectively you persuade others depends a lot on how smart and effectively you have polished your people skills. Learn the art of tact before you even attempt to walk the path of influencing others.
4. Be a Good Listener: Influence and persuasion are not a one way street. Show patience and empathy towards what others have to say and adapt your persuasion style accordingly. We all are different and there is no universal style of persuasion that works for everyone.
5. Practice Persuasion in Real and Hypothetical Situations: Do not assume that on day one you would head out and persuade anyone and everyone and get things done your way. It takes practice and experience before you can master making mutually beneficial situations.
Persuasiveness is one of the most important skills anyone can learn because it is useful in countless situations. At work, at home, and in your social life, the ability to be persuasive and influence others can be instrumental for achieving goals and being happy. Personally I think that persuasion is the key to any door.
Are you mastering the power of persuasion? How do you influence others?