The ability to make successful efforts in influencing others through verbal or nonverbal communication is known as persuasion. Persuasion skills help in influencing someone’s behavior or beliefs towards an event, idea, or person. One example of persuasion skills is when we try to convince our friends to watch our favorite web-series or listen to our favorite music. Now think about applying the same concept in our workplace. As a leader, persuasion skills can help us motivate our teams to achieve common goals and effectively work together towards similar goals.
This blog talks about 9 tips for leaders to improve persuasion skills. Let’s get started!
- What is Persuasion?
- List of Persuasion Skills
- Examples of Persuasion skills
- 9 Tips for Leaders to Improve their Persuasion Skills
What is Persuasion?
The process of convincing another person to carry out a particular action or to agree with an idea is known as persuasion. It can be done through verbal or written communication by showcasing or proving why your point of view has merit or is feasible. The act of persuasion can prove to be highly effective in the workplace as it can help in recruiting team members, increasing productivity, selling products, and more. As a leader, these skills can be very beneficial in the workplace. To learn more about leadership, you can take up the Future Leader’s Program and upskill today.
List of Persuasion Skills
You can naturally possess the following skills, or you can work towards developing them. Individuals with these skills can help in selling a product, getting new clients, increasing productivity, and recruiting new employees as well. A strong skill set can help inspire and motivate our colleagues.
- Communication skills
- Active listening skills
- Emotional Intelligence
- Logical reasoning ability
- Negotiation skills
- Interpersonal skills
Examples of persuasion skills
We may come across several situations in our daily life where we are required to persuade others. Some of the most common examples of the same are as follows:
- Media advertisements (in written or visual form) are used by a marketing team to influence their customers’ purchasing decisions.
- Motivational speakers use an article, speech, or video to influence their listeners.
- A teacher or mentor persuades a student to make good academic decisions and study well.
- Social campaigns to spread awareness regarding issues such as climate change, sustainability, cancer awareness, vaccination, and more.
- Top executives and business owners close business deals that will benefit the company.
9 Tips for Leaders to Improve their Persuasion Skills
Here are several tips for leaders to improve their persuasion skills.
1. The framing method
Describing or explaining a concept in such a way that it influences how it is interpreted by the recipient is known as framing. For example, saying a glass is half empty vs half full. The phrase “half full” sounds much more positive than “half empty,” although the meaning is the same. This is why framing is important if you wish to persuade someone.
There are three core elements under framing. They are:
- Placement – the right time, place and people must be chosen
- Approach – a carefully thought out argument should be presented
- Words – the most appropriate words should be selected
Utilizing these three core elements will help you frame your words/actions in an effective way.
2. Explain the benefits at hand
A great way to persuade an individual is to explain what benefits they can gain from the experience. As a leader, if you want your team to work towards a goal, you can tell them how it would benefit them in the long run. Be it through gaining certain skills or through other perks, seeing that they will personally benefit from a particular activity, they are more likely to be persuaded.
3. Use data to support your cause
Showcasing data or evidence to support your idea provides a form of positive reinforcement to individuals. Thus, motivating them to follow through and agree with your plan of action. Be it in the form of surveys, good industry practices, academic studies, or research, it carries more weight to prove your point with the help of data.
If you wish to introduce a new initiative, you can run a pilot scheme and gather real-world data as a first step. This can also help you support your cause and persuade others.
4. Talk about “we” instead of “you”
When you are a leader, it is important to cultivate team spirit. Using the word “we” instead of “you” inculcates team spirit and shows that your opinion is relevant to the entire team rather than being a vested interest. It can be more appealing to be part of a team rather than being left out.
5. Identity dissatisfaction
If an individual is dissatisfied with a certain decision, understanding why they may be feeling this way is helpful. If you empathize with them and their struggles, this gives you a way to connect with them and convince them to change their mind. Knowing why one is dissatisfied can help you expose them to better choices and persuade them.
6. Ask guided questions
Asking guided or targeted questions allows people to believe that they initiated the idea and changed their minds independently. It makes them feel involved in a subtle manner rather than persuading them directly. Listening to their perspective and asking questions will help guide the individual to the ideal conclusion. Having a casual conversation while adding guided or targetted questions to the conversation can help in pursuing an individual.
7. Provide Options
When you offer someone multiple options rather than a yes-or-no scenario, you give them a sense of choice. Give them practical options that they can select from and multiple mutually beneficial options. One example is negotiating a pay rate. Start by requesting or suggesting a much higher salary so that the employers feel like they are getting a great deal when you lower your salary to the target wage.
8. Prime them for the conversation
Repetition is a priming technique that can be used to subconsciously prepare an individual to be familiar with an idea before making a decision. Mentioning the idea in a casual conversation primes them for the direct conversation. For example, if you wish to call your team to the office on all five days of the week, you can casually bring up the benefits of working in person rather than from home. This makes the team more comfortable when they hear the official pitch.
9. Illustrate Outcomes
Once you have suggested your plan of action, help the team envision the positive outcomes. By using positive imagery, the team gets a brief sense of how and why it would be beneficial to them and to the team to follow through with the plan at hand. The ability to tell a story with positive outcomes is a persuasion skill that everyone must possess.
Persuasion skills are an important skill to implement ideas, build a network, and achieve your goals as a leader. These are a few tips for leaders to improve their skills and work towards convincing clients, gaining promotions, and promoting their ideas to their coworkers. A few benefits of persuasion are being able to finish projects in a timely manner; creating a positive work environment; improving self-esteem; aligning team goals; creating better opportunities; and more.