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The Art of Persuasion: 20 Skills That Make Everyone Agree with What You Say

The Art of Persuasion: 20 Skills That Make Everyone Agree with What You Say

Are you a leader, entrepreneur, marketer, business executive, administrator etc. as long as you relate with people, especially a boss/subordinate kind of relationship, you should have the vital skills to persuade. Persuasion in this context does not mean coercion rather it is the ability of a person to get others to willingly and enthusiastically carryout specific tasks in the manner deemed by the instructor for the attainment of specific goals and objectives.

The problem with most people is their inability to grasp the art of persuasion and unwillingness to acquire the vital skills needed to successfully persuade people. Being persuasive doesn’t warrant you to manipulate or pressure other people; it’s all about convincing. But for you so successfully persuade people to enthusiastically and willingly follow a course of action or believe in your ideas, these skills should be found in you;

Everything starts with your planning skills

Your ability to persuade people successfully every time is dependent on preparation. Nothing is achieved without planning. The most important thing is to have adequate information of the people and situations around you. Adequate preparation allows for effective persuasion.

Jeff Haden says ‘instead of jumping right to the end of your argument, start with statements or premises you know your audience will agree with. Build a foundation for further agreement. Remember, a body in motion tends to remain in motion, and that also applies to a head nodding in agreement’.[1]

Story Telling Skills

Telling stories is quite fascinating when you trying to make a point. Stories have the power to persuade people and influence them. People seem to pay attention differently when hearing a narrative or illustration as opposed to presenting out facts and figures.

By demonstrating your idea or strategy to people through stories, they can better understand you. Martin Zwilling says ‘stories are often more convincing than simple statements of fact. If you can integrate the receiver directly into the story, the potential impact is even greater.[2]

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Motivational Skills

Persuasion has a significant relationship with motivation. You can’t persuade people without knowing the art of motivation. Getting people motivated is a tough task because it is dependent on personality; the factors that can motivate an individual may be different from the ones that motivate another.

Understanding what causes a person t o become motivated – and stay that way – can help with making sure people are the most productive that they can be.[3] Hence in order to successfully persuade people, one should be able to know what it takes to motivate.

Problem Solving Skill

In our contemporary world where there are lots of socio-economic and political issues, people with problem solving skill are highly respected and have the capacity to persuade people to believe on their ideas.

People are constantly looking for problem solvers.[4] Once you have the ability to dissect problems and come up with the best alternatives that solved a given problem, people will naturally approach you and bow to your persuasive power.

Strategic Thinking Skill

Have you ever thought of the great inventors and wealthy entrepreneurs in the world today, they are great thinkers. This is why they have been able to make enormous impact on people. Warren Buffett is considered by some to be one of the most successful investors in the world; Mark Zuckerberg is the chairman, chief executive officer, and co-founder of Facebook; while founded the world’s largest software business, Microsoft. These men are great today because they are strategic thinkers. With this skill, they can easily persuade people to adopt their ideas.

Confidence

Confidence is a pre-requisite for persuasion. No one will ever regard your ideas, views and opinion if they perceive you lack self-confidence. If you really believe in yourself and what you do, you will always be able to persuade others to do what’s right for them, while getting what you want in return.

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Listening Skills

Influential people are attentive listeners. They tend to give attention to every complaint and discussion which make people naturally adore them. Have you ever asked yourself why most people usually say ‘thank you for your listening ears’? They feel happy that someone cared to listen to their problems. By gaining their trust, you can easily influence them.

Charisma

Charisma is about what you say and do as opposed to who you really are as a person.[5] Your subconscious, social cues, physical expression, and the way you treat others all play a part in developing your charisma.

Charisma is a great influencer. When people naturally like you because of how you talk, your composure, calm personality, attitude etc., you can have a big influence on them.

Rapport Skill

Rapport skill are crucial for developing mutual trust and friendship with someone or group of individuals. Once you have established a good interpersonal relationship with someone or group of people, this gives you the opportunity rapport with them and share some ideas and values.

Jason Nazar says ‘by mirroring and matching others habitual behaviors (body language, cadence, language patterns, etc.) you can build a sense of rapport where people feel more comfortable with you and become more open to your suggestions.[6]

Loyalty

You will hear people often say ‘respect is earned rather than commanded’. This is because people actually expect those they revere to first of all conduct themselves in an orderly manner. You have to be loyal to be able to draw the attention of others you want to influence.

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Research skill

A person desiring to have the power to persuade must be a good researcher in order to communicate accurately and authoritatively on a subject. By having a research skill, you will be able to explore unlimited knowledgeable about the points, ideas and views you want to convey. Your level of vast knowledge gives you an added advantage in persuading others to believe in your ideas.

Human Relations Skill

Human relations skill is critical to persuasion. The classic management theorists failed partly because the neglected the human relations approach to employees’ management. To be a powerful persuader, you should be able to understand a person’s pain and problems.

Persuasive people are likable and influential because they put the needs of others above themselves.[7] When you genuinely try to understand another person’s background and motivation, you’ll be able to more effectively persuade him or her.

Communication Skill

Communication is very essential when you want to successfully persuade someone or group of people. It should be a two way communication where feedback is encouraged. The art of persuasion rest lies with interaction and encouraging responses to ascertain the state of mind, motives and views of the people you want to powerfully persuade to follow a particular course of action.

Language Skill

As a result of globalization, we tend to meet people from different nations with different language, value system, norms and culture. One way of establishing interpersonal relationship with them is to understand and speak their languages. Constant communication with them will give you the opportunity to share your ideas and influence their opinions.

Mentoring Skill

Mentors are usually respected by people especially prodigies. It is not difficult to have a mentoring skill. Just get people around and tell them about your belief, ideas and goals. They will be naturally persuaded to join your course as long as you are successful at what you do.

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Critical Skill

Reasoning is a product of critical thinking. You don’t expect to persuade people when you do not know a thing about them. Critical thinking makes one an active learner rather than a passive recipient of information. Critical thinkers utilize observation, analysis, interpretation, reflection, evaluation, inference and explanation to make people believe them

Public Speaking Skill

To be successful in persuading people, one must master the art of public speaking. Most people will rather die than stand in the stage to address audience no matter the size. Public speaking requires confidence, planning, research, focus, story-telling, analyzing your audience and lots more. These and more make up public speaking skill. Hence to persuade successfully, public speaking skill is a pre-requisite.

Public Relations Skill

The art of persuasion requires public relations skill especially when one is a public figure. Here, the qualities one needs to successfully persuade people are flexibility, boldness and adaptability.

Collaborative Skill

Two or three people cannot work together except there is a desire to collaborate. Collaborative skills are the behaviors that help two or more people work together and function well in the process. You cannot influence people without actually knowing them. One way to know and understand people is to collaborate with them.

Creative Skill

You have to be super good in bringing something new into being or device a whole new exciting way of doing things to attract peoples’ attention. Creative thinkers are usually admired and people want to identify with them.

Organizations led by creative leaders have a higher success rate in innovation, employee engagement, change and renewal says Linda Naiman, founder of Creativity at Work.[8]

Decision Making Skill

Our daily life is full of decision making. Most of the aforementioned skills are dependent on decision making. For instance, selecting the group of individuals you want to persuade; picking the kind of message to communicate and selecting the strategies and techniques for convincing them are functions of decision making. Without this skill, one cannot achieve much when trying to persuade people.

Reference

More by this author

Dr. Jeff Shuford

President of Tech From Vets

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Published on October 30, 2020

11 Essential Philosophy Books That Will Open Your Mind

11 Essential Philosophy Books That Will Open Your Mind

There are numerous ways to build your mindset, but none are as profound as reading philosophy books. Through these books, some of the greatest minds around ask questions and delve deep into thought.

While there isn’t always a clear and distinct answer to the many questions of philosophy, the entire field is a gateway to a higher sense of self. It gets you to think about all manner of things.

Below, we cover some of the essential philosophy books that are best for those who are just starting or looking to expand their mind.

How To Choose a Good Philosophy Book

Before getting to this list, we’ve researched ideal philosophy books to help you expand your mind.

We’ve found that the best philosophy books excel in the following criteria:

  • Complexity – Philosophy isn’t a subject that you can’t dive into immediately and understand everything. The books that we selected are great for people making the first leap.
  • Viewpoint – With philosophy, in particular, the author’s views are more important than in your standard book. We want to ensure the viewpoints and thoughts being discussed still hold up to this day.
  • Open-mindedness – Philosophy is all about asking perplexing questions and unraveling the answer. You might not reach a conclusion in the end, but these books are designed to get you to think.
  • Culture – The last criterion is culture. A lot of these books come from early philosophers from centuries ago or possibly from recent years. These philosophy books should paint a picture of the culture.

1. Meditations

    One that you’ll find on many of these types of lists is Meditations and for good reason. It’s the only document of its kind to ever be made. The book focuses on the private thoughts of the world’s most powerful man who advises himself revolving around making good on his responsibilities and the obligations of his position.

    We know enough about Marcus Aurelius to know that he was trained in stoic philosophy and practiced every night on a series of spirituality exercises. These exercises were designed to make him humble, patient, empathetic, generous, and strong in the face of whatever problem he had to face off. And he faced plenty of problems since he was basically the emperor of roughly a third of the planet.

    All of that is poured into this book, and you are bound to remember a line or more that will be applicable in your life. It’s a philosophy book staple.

    Buy Meditations here.

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    2. Letters From a Stoic

      Similar to Marcus Aurelius, Seneca was another powerful man in Rome. He was a brilliant writer at the time and was the kind of guy to give great advice to his most trusted friends. Fortunately, much of his advice comes in letters, and those letters happen to be in this book. The letters themselves provided advice on dealing with grief, wealth, poverty, success, failure, education, and more.

      While Seneca was a stoic, he has a more practical approach and has borrowed from other schools of thought for his advice. As he said when he was alive, “I don’t care about the author if the line is good.” Similar to Meditations, there are several brilliant lines and advice that are still relevant to this day.

      Buy “Letters From a Stoic” here.

      3. Nicomachean Ethics

        Aristotle was a famous Greek philosopher at the time with profound knowledge. He’s named after a form of logic as well called Aristotelian logic. Through this book, Aristotle writes about the root of all Aristotelian ethics. In other words, this book contains the moral ideas that form a base for pretty much all of western civilization.

        Buy “Nicomachean Ethics” here.

        4. Beyond Good & Evil

          Friedrich Nietzsche played a big role in the philosophical world. He was one of the leading philosophers of the existential movement, and it all came through this particular book. He is a brilliant mind. However, the issue with a lot of his work is that it’s all written in German.

          Fortunately, this book is one of the slightly more accessible ones since it’s translated. Within the book, he breaks down the paradoxes of conventional understandings of morality. By doing this, he sets the stage for a lot of the 20th-century thought process that followed.

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          Buy “Beyond Good & Evil” here.

          5. Meditations on First Philosophy

            In Meditations on First Philosophy, René Descartes breaks his book down into six meditations. The book takes a journalistic style that is structured much like a six-day course of meditation. On day one, he gives instructions on discarding all belief in things that are not guaranteed. After that, he tries to establish what can be known for sure. Similar to Meditations, this is a staple and influential philosophical text that you can pick up.

            Buy “Meditations on First Philosophy” here.

            6. Ethics

              Written by Benedict de Spinoza, this came at a time during the Age of Enlightenment. Enlightenment was a movement that dominated the world of ideas in Europe during the 17th and 18th centuries and with that, many schools of thought emerged and were presented through books.

              Out of the many influential philosophy books published back then, Ethics dominated during this period as it discussed the basis of rationalism. Even though we’ve developed further beyond that, Ethics can introduce new ways of thinking from this particular school of thought.

              Buy “Ethics” here.

              7. Critique of Pure Reason

                Immanuel Kant is another great philosopher who brought together two of history’s biggest opposing schools of thought into a single book. Those schools being rational thought and empirical experiential knowledge—knowledge gained through experience.

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                In Critique of Pure Reason, Kant explores human reason and then works to establish its illusions and get down to core constituents. Overall, you can learn more about human behavior and thought processes and thus, open your mind more to how you think and process everything around you.

                Buy “Critique of Pure Reason” here.

                8. On the Genealogy of Morals

                  Another piece of work from Nietzsche that is accessible to us is On the Genealogy of Morals. According to Nietzsche, the purpose of this book is to call attention to his previous writings. That said, it does more than that so you don’t need to worry so much about reading his other books.

                  In this book, he expands on the cryptic aphorisms that he brings up in Beyond Good and Evil and offers a discussion or morality in a work that is more accessible than a lot of his previous work.

                  Buy “On the Genealogy of Morals” here.

                  9. Everything Is F*cked

                    The only book on this list that’s been written in the past few years, this book by Mark Manson aims to explain why we all need hope while also accepting that hope can often lead us to ruin too.

                    While many of the books on this list are all practical, this one is the most realistic one since not even the greatest of philosophical minds could predict things like technology, Twitter, and how our political world has shaped.

                    Manson delivers a profound book that taps into the minds of our ancestral philosophers, such as Plato, Nietzsche, and Tom Waits, and digs deep into various topics and how all of it is connected—religion and politics, our relationship with money, entertainment, and the internet.

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                    Overall, this book serves as a challenge to all of us—a challenge to be more honest with ourselves and connect with the world in a way we’ve never tried before.

                    Buy “Everything Is F*cked” here.

                    10. Reasons and Persons

                      One of the most challenging philosophy books to read on this list, Reasons and Persons will send you on quite the trip. Through a lot of painstaking logic, Derek Parfit shows us some unique perspectives on self-interest, personhood, and whether our actions are good or evil.

                      Considered by many to be an important psychological text around the 20th century, the arguments made about those topics will open your mind to a brand new way of thinking.

                      Buy “Reasons and Persons” here.

                      11. The Republic of Plato

                        Written by Plato himself, this book is the origin of political science and offers a brilliant critique of government. As you would expect, the critique is still important today. If you’re looking to understand the inner thoughts of Plato, this is one of the best books around.

                        Buy “The Republic of Plato” here.

                        Final Thoughts

                        Philosophy books take a while to digest as they provide profound knowledge and leave you with many questions. With many of these philosophy books, you need to take your time with them, and you might have to read through them a few times as well. And with every read, your mind will only expand.

                        More Books to Open Your Mind

                        Featured photo credit: Laura Chouette via unsplash.com

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