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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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Last Updated on February 19, 2019

Why a Life Without Pain Is the Guarantee to True Suffering

Why a Life Without Pain Is the Guarantee to True Suffering

No one wants to suffer. As a general rule, people like to avoid hurt and pain as much as possible. As a species, humans want a painless existence so much that scientists make a living trying to create it.

People can now choose “pain-free” labor for babies, and remedies to cure back pain, headaches, body-pains and even mental pains are a dime a dozen. Beyond medicine, we also work hard to experience little pain even when it comes to loss; often times we believe a breakup won’t hurt as much if we are the ones to call it off.

But would a world without pain truly be painless? It’s unlikely. In fact, it would probably be painful exactly for that reason.

If people never experienced hurt, they wouldn’t know what it was. On the surface level, that seems like a blessing, but think for a moment: if we didn’t know pain, how would we know peace? If you don’t know you’ve hurt or been hurt, how would you know that you need to heal? Imagine someone only knowing they have an incurable cancer at the final stage because no obvious symptoms have appeared at early stages.

Without the feeling of pain, people won’t be aware of dangerous situations—what should or shouldn’t do for survival.

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Pain Is Our Guardian

Pain serves to protect human beings from harmful actions. It’s the same reason parents teach babies that fire equals hot, and that hot equals hurt. Should the baby still place its hand in a fire or on a stove, the intense pain remains so memorable, that the child is certain never to repeat that action.

In the same way, pain within human bodies can serve as a warning that something is not right. Because you know what it is to feel “well,” you know what it is to feel poorly.[1]

Along with serving as a teacher of what not to do, pain also teaches you what you are made of in terms of what you can handle as an individual.

While the cliche, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” is a tired term, it’s used excessively for a reason: it’s true. Pain helps you learn to cope with life’s inevitable difficulties and sadnesses— to develop the grit it takes to push past hardships and carry on.

Whether it’s a shattering pain, like the loss of a loved one or a debilitating accident, pain affects everyone differently. But it still affects everyone. Take a breakup as an example, anyone who has experienced it knows it can hurt to the point of feeling physical. Especially the first breakup. At a young age, it feels like the loss of the only love you’ll ever know. As you grow and learn, you realize you’re more resilient with every ended relationship.

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No Pain, No Happiness

You only know happiness when you have known pain. While the idea of constant happiness sounds nice, there is little chance it would be. Without the comparison to happiness, there’s no reason to be grateful for it. That is to say, without ever knowing sadness or pain, you would have no reason to be grateful for happiness.

In reality, there is always something missing, or something unpleasant, but it is only through those realizations that you know to be grateful when you feel you have it all. Read more about why happiness and pain have to exist together: Chasing Happiness Won’t Make You Happy

In a somewhat counter-intuitive finding, researchers found one of the things that brings about the most happiness is challenge. When people are tested, they experience a greater sense of accomplishment and happiness when they are successful. It is largely for this reason that low-income individuals can often feel happier than those who have a sense of wealth.[2]

This is a great thing to remember the next time you feel you would be happier if you just had a little more cash.

Avoiding Pain Leads to More Suffering

Pain is inevitable, embrace it positively. Anyone who strives to have a painless life is striving for perfectionism; and perfectionism guarantees sadness because nothing will ever be perfect.

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This isn’t a bleak outlook, but rather a truthful one. The messy moments in life tend to create the best memories and gratitude. Pain often serves as a reminder of lessons learned, much like physical scars on the body.

Pain will always be painful, but it’s the hurt feelings that help wiser decisions be made.

Allow Room for the Inevitable

Learning how to tolerate pain, especially the emotional kind, is a valuable lesson.

Accepting and feeling pain makes you human. There is no weakness in that. Weakness only comes when you try to blame your own pain on someone else, expecting the blame to alleviate your hurting. There’s a saying,

“Holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting your enemy to die.”

Think back to the last time you were really angry with someone. Maybe you were hurt because you got laid off from a job. You felt angry and that anger caused so much pain that you could feel it in a physical way. Being angry and blaming your ex boss for that pain didn’t affect him or her in any way; you’re the only one who lost sleep over it.

The healthier thing to do in a situation like that is acknowledge your pain and the anger along with it. Accept it and explore it in an introspective way. How can you learn and grow? What is at the root of that pain? Are you truly hurting and angry about being laid off, or is the pain more a correlation to you feeling like you failed?

While uncomfortable, exploring your pain is a way to raise your self-awareness. By understanding more about yourself, you know how to deal with similar situations in the future. You can never expect to be numb to difficult situations, but you will learn to better prepare financially for the loss of a job and be grateful for an income since you now know nothing is promised (no matter how much you work or how deserving you may feel).

Pain Hurts, but Numbness Would Be Worse

Pain does not feel good, but the bad feeling of it will help you learn and grow. It makes the sweet moments in life even sweeter and the gratitude more sincere.

To have a happier and more successful life, you don’t learn from success or accomplishment, but through pain and failures. For it is in those moments that you learn how to do better in the future or at least cope a little more easily.

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You are the strong person you are today because of the hardships this life has presented to you. While you may have felt out of control when those hard times came, the one thing you will always have control over is how you choose to react to things. The next time you hurt or you’re angry or sad, acknowledge it and allow yourself to ruminate in it. Then take a deep breath and start learning from that pain. You’ve got this!

Featured photo credit: Stocksnap via stocksnap.io

Reference

[1] University of Calgary: Why is Pain Important?
[2] Greater Good Magazine: The Importance of Pain

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