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10 Vital Skills Only Persuasive People Secretly Know

10 Vital Skills Only Persuasive People Secretly Know

The other day I invited a friend to a not-so-well-known gem in my city. Now, Houston is not known for its majestic architecture or theological Mecca’s but this place was both. We parked in what looked like a movie; towering trees, lush grass and cobbled streets. Kerry the Librarian gave us the tour; theological books, ancient journals and Dead Sea Scroll fragments ensconced in soaring, fresco ceilings, iron chandeliers and high-backed armchairs. When she explained for the third time that only the chapel and library were open to the public, I knew it’d be a tough one.

Persuasion can be called many things: coaxing, coercion, the art of letting other people have your way. So I started; asking Kerry about herself, flirting with her. Finally, we had clearly won over the Librarian. We swayed all staff encountered, allowing us access to the lake, ranch, secret pathways and trails and ending when we coaxed a ranch-hand to give us feed for the llamas, swans, ducks, goats and sheep.

Persuasion is an art that can enhance any experience or relationship. It can gain that promotion or get you out of that speeding ticket. It’s the opposite of whining, demanding or acquiescing and it can be staggeringly effective. Here are the skills. Enjoy having the keys to the castle.

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1. Know that it’s not about you.

People think about themselves morning, noon and night. Their minds are on what they want, not what you want. So learn their quirks, desires, and fears. Be interested in what drives and excites them. Get their name right and use it often. If it’s difficult to pronounce have them spell it, they’ll light up. All of this allows you to find the hook in their psyche that can later be used to your purpose.

2. Make time.

The more time you spend with others, the more you’ll be trusted. Even if they dislike you in the beginning, they will thaw. Time does wonders.

3. Be likeable.

Smile genuinely, with your eyes and your whole face. Show delight when seeing them, even if you saw them yesterday. Turn your body fully toward them and acknowledge their presence. If you’re happy to see them then they’re happy to see you.

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4. Don’t criticize or complain about anything they say, do, or think.

No one will appreciate hearing “you’re wrong” and pointing out their mistakes to them will instantly make you an enemy. So you better stay away from criticism.

5. Appreciate and compliment them often, honestly.

Compliment their house, car or hair. Say something nice about something they care about and hold in high regard. If you hear them complaining don’t ignore it, agree and sympathize.

6. Listen and observe.

Encouraging them to talk about themselves allows you to learn their triggers. You will get better at knowing if they’re about to say “no”. Verbally expressing objection is a glandular, nervous and muscular act, your whole body does it and it’s hard to reverse. So if you observe them frowning or pursing their lips, change strategies before they speak.

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7. Make them say “yes”.

To anything: the weather, the ball game, whatever. This training keeps them saying yes, building a consistent habit of compliance and agreement to you.
When trying to get a “yes”, think of that person’s interests. What does your proposal offer them, personally or professionally? What will they gain? Make it apparent that it will benefit them and emphasize it all out of proportion.

8. Make the other person feel important.

In public, make them seem important. I was boarding a plane last year (heading to coach) and passed my parents sitting in first class. I froze, exclaiming “Oh my god, are you John Love?!? I’ve seen all your movies! I think you are the most important movie Director of our generation and I just love your work! Is this your wife? She is just gorgeous, you lucky dog. I can’t believe this is happening. Can I please, please have your autograph?” They were bombarded for the rest of the ride for autographs and pictures, the normally stoic first-class pleading for Hollywood gossip and scandal.

9. Give them something.

If you are admitting you’re wrong, do it quickly and emphatically. Gush it out. If saying “you’re welcome” add “I know you would do the same for me”. This works off the psychological principle of reciprocity. Tangible or intangible, giving something propels them to give in return. And keep giving.

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10. Create an opportunity for them to shine.

The person you’re persuading is an expert or has talent in something. Use it. Talk about the problem you are having out loud and ask if they have ever had a similar problem. Usually there is no need to ask for their assistance, they will fall all over themselves proving their expertise and skill. It will seem like their idea (from the start) to help you out. At this point, hang on every word and show wonder at what she or he can do. This allows the person to feel masterful, instead of being used for free services.

If you are a first time reader, there’s a chance you might now be a little disgusted. Repelled. You’re not a sycophant, kiss-a** or liar. I get it. However, the probability of your success rests on how honest you can make your interaction, not how much lying or deceit is dished out. So open yourself up, see your target and their world through their eyes. And allow the fun to begin!

Featured photo credit: Persuasion via 7373-presscdn-0-43-pagely.netdna-ssl.com

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Last Updated on May 21, 2019

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

Example 1

You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

Example 2

You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

Example 3

You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

Example 4

You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

  • Understand your own communication style
  • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
  • Communicate with precision and care
  • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

1. Understand Your Communication Style

To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

2. Learn Others Communication Styles

Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

“How do you prefer to receive information?”

This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

3. Exercise Precision and Care

A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

“Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

The Bottom Line

When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

Reference

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