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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 April 8, 2020

11 Things Overachievers Do Differently

11 Things Overachievers Do Differently

We all know some overachievers: supermoms who manage to get online degrees between cleaning, cooking, and taking kids to practice; students who write 10-page papers when the directions call for 4; managers whose resumes look more like pages from the Guinness book of Records.

How do they do it all? How is it possible that one person can graduate at the top of their class, found an orphanage in India, run 30k marathons, write a best-selling book, travel all over the world and learn to speak Mandarin Chinese while having a full-time job?

What’s the secret of an overachiever? Here’re 11 things overachievers do differently that you can learn from.

1. They Know How to Manage Their Time

It’s pretty simple actually – you can never become an overachiever if you don’t know how to organize your time efficiently.

The great thing is that overachievers are ready to share their knowledge and time management talent with the rest of the world. Read The 4-Hour Workweek or The 4-Hour Body by Timothy Ferriss, and you’ll know what I’m talking about.

2. They Don’t Spend Hours Watching TV or Playing Computer Games

Mostly because they have better things to do, like exercising, reading, spending an evening with their family or volunteering to work in the local soup kitchen. Their philosophy is simple – the world is full of wonderful things to try, explore and experience. Watching TV is not one of them.

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3. They Are Obsessed With Perfection

Imagine Steve Jobs’ work approach and you’ll understand the level of perfection and painfully high standards that overachievers set for themselves and those around them. Often it pays off (especially if they focus on just one domain). But sometimes compulsive over-striving turns into a sure-fire road to disappointments and unfinished tasks.

Learn how to strike a balance: How Not to Let Perfectionism Secretly Screw You Up

4. They Know How To Inspire

Overachievers learn quickly that it is much easier to achieve goals through collaboration (and especially delegation). So they know how to inspire, encourage, persuade and motivate people around them. Even though they often drive their team crazy with their stubbornness and perfectionism, people quickly follow under the spell of their enthusiasm and greater vision.

Learn these 10 Powerful Ways to Influence People Positively.

5. They Set Clear Goals

The term “overachiever” itself implies that they know how to achieve goals. That is kind of hard to do if your goals are vague, unclear and lack specific deadline, which is why overachievers educate themselves, read goal-setting books, and think about the best way to approach a new task.

Although, it’s worth mentioning that overachievers usually use their time management and goal-setting skills towards competitive, “I want to kick butt” type of goals rather than self-improvement, mastery goals.

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Take a look at these tips to help you set clearer goals: What Are SMART Goals (And How to Use Them to Become Successful)

6. They Are Organized

It’s hard to imagine a disorganized overachiever, isn’t it? Their great organizational and planning skills usually serve three main purposes: keeping track of time, keeping track of progress and keeping track of achievements.

This hasn’t been confirmed by scientific research yet, but overachievers might actually get a “runner’s high” from crossing tasks off their to-do lists, and making new to-do lists.

Here’s How to Organize Your Life: 10 Habits of Really Organized People

7. They Try to Avoid Failure at All Costs

Some psychologists believe that overachievers place their self-worth on their competence, driven by an underlying fear of failure. Rather than setting and striving for goals based on a pure desire to achieve, their core motivation becomes avoiding failure. This may explain the fact that overachiever beat themselves up for even little setbacks and seemingly-insignificant mistakes.

But be aware that having a strong fear of failure can wrek havoc your productivity. So the best thing to do? Learn to conquer the fear: Why You Have the Fear of Failure (And How to Conquer It)

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8. They Love Awards

Who doesn’t love them, right? True enough, but unlike most people who like to feel acknowledged and appreciated for their efforts, overachievers are bent on collecting ‘awards’, be it university degrees, spelling bee prizes or unusual destinations.

While loving awares isn’t bad, it’s even better if you’re driven by internal motivation instead of external ones which could be quite uncontrolable or unstable: Why Is Internal Motivation So Powerful (And How to Find It).

9. They Don’t Understand the Concept of Work Hours

Don’t get surprised if you receive a work-related email anywhere between 8 p.m. and midnight. It’s something overachievers usually do and you weren’t the only one. At least 20 more emails have been sent during these hours to other people. The concepts of over-achieving and working overtime usually go hand in hand.

The downside of this is an imbalnced life, which may need to problems in other aspects of life including health and relationships. A better way is to Achieve a Realistic Work Life Balance.

10. They Rest

Overachievers might often be labeled as “workaholics”, because they often ignore bodily signs of hunger, fatigue and even a full bladder, hoping to finish just one last little part. This doesn’t mean that overachievers don’t know how to disconnect and relax.

True that they tend to work in the highest gear, but they also have enough sense to give themselves time to rest and recharge. Of course, they do it in their own overachieving way, preferring climbing Mount Kilimanjaro or hiking through the Amazon jungle to lazing on the beach.

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11. Overachievers Continuously Educate Themselves

A great quality that most overachievers have is the hunger for knowledge. They surround themselves with bright people. They know how to listen, and most importantly, they get tons of mentoring.

Despite the fact that overachievers want to excel at everything they set their minds on, they are humble enough to admit that to get on top of their game, they need help. And they are willing to pay someone to push, coach and guide them.

You too can learn How to Create a Habit of Continuous Learning for a Better You.

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Featured photo credit: Nghia Le via unsplash.com

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