An old saying goes, “Persuasion is better than force.” For those of us in the business world, and especially those responsible for getting team members on board with an idea, that’s an important concept to remember. But the act of persuading a group of people is not always clear-cut.
There is no doubt that the practical applications of persuasion are endless. But, specifically, I want to show you how to persuade your staff and get your team to excitedly support your goals. Once you master this concept, achieving your business objectives and goals will become much easier. And believe me, with a little bit of dedication, you will find that accomplishing this skill is easier than you may think.
Why Learn Persuasion
Persuasion is the art of moving someone to your belief, position, or course of action – a tool you can’t live without. Consider a football game. Imagine a game where the quarterback never shares the plays with the rest of the team. In addition, what if half the team didn’t even know the rules, the other half didn’t know where the goal line was, and two of the players were actively trying to undermine the team?
Without persuasive communication, your business may be just as disjointed as that imaginary football team. And the results will be every bit as disastrous. So, instead of teaching you all the stuff you already know, such as using frequent communication, offering public praise, and always sticking with private discipline, I have something even better and more useful to offer.
- Make them self-aware. Studies show that as self-awareness is heightened, we are more easily persuaded. So the next time you are having a conversation with someone you are trying to persuade, try to do it near something that will allow them to see their reflection, such as a mirrored wall or reflective pool. Sneaky, huh?
- Always reciprocate. Reciprocation is in the natural makeup of all people. What we get, we give back. Don’t believe me? Think about the unexpected cards you receive around Christmas. Yep, you run right out to the store and get a card to fire right back at the sender. To persuade people, it helps if they like you. So before you share your message, genuinely indicate how you like and respect them. Hearing that will make them automatically reciprocate with a little more liking and respect toward you.
- Share credit. Most importantly, we are mainly persuaded by our own beliefs. If we came up with an idea, we will want to carry it out more than if someone else came up with the same idea. When you present your idea, make sure you show how the person(s) you are persuading influenced or supported you in coming up with the plan of action. If you show that you feel they helped form the decision, they are going to be highly likely to support it, big time.
If you work on these tips toward mastering the art of persuasion, you will no doubt find that your team will become more interested, responsive and willing to support your goals. And when that happens, major progress is sure to follow. Without mastering this skill, you are relying on the act of force, which will never produce sustained, great results. And there is no doubt that it also won’t bring you as many Christmas cards.
Mike Michalowicz is the Author of the business cult-classic, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur and is a columnist for the Wall Street Journal. Michalowicz has built three multi-million dollar companies, is a frequent expert guest on MSNBC, CNBC, ABC and other television networks, and is a nationally renowned speaker. His website is http://www.ToiletPaperEntrepreneur.com and his book is available at Amazon.com and all major book stores.