1. Emphasize the Benefits
Think like a marketer, and always make the benefits of a specific action easy for others to envision. Empathize with your colleagues to lower their guard and establish common ground, but be prepared to offer a reason why your desired outcome is best for everyone. Avoid taking advantage of colleagues or clients by completely ignoring their interests, as an unethical attitude teaches others to be wary of you in the future.
2. Listen and Learn
Absorb as much information as you can about others so you can choose the most effective communication strategies for each scenario. While one person may connect with stories, others may need facts and figures, constant praise, or sympathetic coddling to feel motivated. In your interactions, try to determine the person’s underlying goals and objections. Understanding what others really want and their limits of compromise helps you filter out conversation points that aren’t likely to strengthen your argument.
3. Anticipate Resistance
Never try to persuade others without anticipating their possible objections, as you may end up floundering in your argument or being too forceful. Clients and co-workers want some confirmation that you considered their perspectives before pushing your agenda. Learn from the communication strategies of attorneys, and guide your audience’s thought process by acknowledging other possibilities and providing examples to refute those objections. At the same time, know when to back off if your audience is unreceptive.
4. Create Urgency
One of the most successful communication strategies is convincing others that they need to act now. Instead of being pushy or a know-it-all, state your case with the calm demeanor of a friend sharing information. Speak with self-assurance, and make sure the value of your desired outcome is clear. Keep your motives out of the conversation, but give others the sense that they may miss out by failing to act soon. Retreat without actively trying to sway opinions so your audience believes they have an in-demand opportunity with an expiration date.
5. Present Evidence
Concrete proof is the most persuasive communication strategy. Whether you’re preparing for an interview or asking for a promotion, compile a diverse body of evidence that demonstrates a history of value and results. You should also present your projected goals or expectations with evidence that they are viable options so others have facts to refer back to when evaluating your arguments.
Wielding a persuasive personality can help you unite others around a common goal and defuse conflicts involving clients or co-workers. Stick to communication strategies that encourage others to accept mutually beneficial ideas, and avoid self-serving behavior that makes your audience distrustful over time.
Source: John Krautzel (Beyond)