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Published on August 18, 2020

7 Powerful Persuasive Techniques to Increase Your Influence

7 Powerful Persuasive Techniques to Increase Your Influence

When we hear about increasing our influence or using persuasive techniques, sometimes we tend to think of someone who is being manipulative, that they have a sneaky way of getting what they want by wielding some power over others. Maybe we even think about someone who is playing mind games in order to gain control of a situation or others.

The reality is that being influential helps us in many aspects of our everyday life. Since we interact and communicate with people in all areas of our life, the ability to influence is extremely beneficial. Let’s look at 7 powerful persuasive techniques to increase your influence.

What Is Influence?

Influence is the power to have an important effect on someone or something. If one person influences another person, they are changing the other person in some way. It could be the decision they are going to make about something, or they way they think about a certain topic, or a way they go about something.

It involves getting people to change their minds about a topic or subject and to act in a certain way by acknowledging their feelings and bringing them around to a similar way of thinking or seeing something. Influencing others can make just about any job or tough situation easier for everyone involved.

Really, it’s about getting several people aligned on a specific topic and moving forward in a positive manner that everyone thinks is best.

How Persuasive Techniques Help You Influence Others

The ability to bring other people around to your way of thinking without forcing them to or without coercion is incredibly beneficial. If you are a manager or leader, you need to be able to show people that you know what you are doing and motivate them to work in a productive manner.

If you are in sales, you need to be able to demonstrate that your product or service has high value. In personal relationships, the ability to influence your partner or friends to your way of thinking has a way of getting multiple people on the same page and working towards the same goal or game plan.

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The bottom line is that using persuasive techniques as a form of influence is a top way to get others to see things the same way you do and to gain buy-in to move forward. This translates very well in the workplace, but is also very important in our personal relationships.

Where Persuasive Techniques Work Best

There are many situations where influence will help you, but work and personal life are two of the main ones. Let’s see how you can use influence to your advantage.

Work

Let’s say you’re in sales. When you work in sales, your job is to sell something that your company offers. This could be a service like window cleaning or shipping, or it could be an actual product like paper towels. In any event, you can be sure you have lots of competition. Your job is to know how your product or service stacks up against the competition and sell it based on the positive aspects of said product or service.

When speaking to potential buyers, you have to be able to influence them to the point where they see that your product or service is the right solution for them and their company or customers. You, of course, must also believe it’s the best solution.

Another work example would be if you are a manager. As you work to get your team working well together on a project, you must have strong influencing skills. This comes into play as you set the direction for the project and lead the team to success.

If someone thinks something should be done a different way, we will see soon how listening and acknowledging them is critical. As you navigate your way through the project, you as the leader will be making the decisions, and it’s important to be able to show and lead others to the path of success. Influencing them along the way will prove incredibly valuable.

Personal Life

Let’s say you and your spouse have different perspectives on how much you should be saving for retirement. Your spouse says saving 3% of your income is plenty for when retirement comes around. You feel very strongly through your research and discussions with your financial advisor that you need to be saving at least 6% or 7% to reach your retirement goal. How are you going to change your spouse’s mind so they see the benefit of saving more for retirement?

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By influencing them to see things from your perspective and point of view! Of course, you both must agree on what the end result or number should look like. You will most likely need to show your spouse various charts and projections and specialist advice to see if you can get them to change their mind to match your vision.

Now, let’s take a look at 7 powerful persuasive techniques to increase your influence.

7 Powerful Persuasive Techniques to Increase Your Influence

These can be used individually or combined depending on the situation you’re facing. Use them wisely, and you’ll find you’re getting more of what you want!

1. Connect with Others

One of the easiest and quickest techniques to influencing others is to simply connect with them. Connecting means being present and responsive, spending time with them, and being a good coworker or friend or whatever the relationship entails. When we feel connected to someone, we are much more likely to listen to their advice and their point of view on things.

Compare this to someone you don’t like trying to get you to do something. Who are you most likely going to listen to and potentially be influenced by? The person you like, of course!

2. Respect the Opinion of Others

Similar to creating a connection, when you respect the opinion of others, it goes a long way towards helping you influence them when the time is right. It boils down to the need to feel understood by others.

There is almost no greater need than the need to be understood by other people. When we feel understood, we don’t feel alone; we feel like there is someone who understands how we feel. When you show someone that you respect their opinion, it makes them feel understood. It also makes them feel like their opinion is of importance to you and that you value and respect their point of view. This will earn you some serious points and is one of the most powerful persuasive techniques.

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3. Make Others Feel Important

Along the same lines as respecting someone’s opinion, it is also beneficial to make them feel important. Feeling valued and appreciated in the workplace is the number one factor in job satisfaction. It has been shown over and over that people who feel valued and important in the workplace are the most satisfied with their job, boss, and company.

If you have the ability to make someone feel important, it will definitely help you in influencing them when the need is there. I think about the times when my manager tells me I’ve done a great job on something and that my skills in XYZ are hugely beneficial to the company, and it always makes me feel great. When she then follows up with getting me involved or onboarded with a project soon after a comment like that, I am much more likely to happily agree.

4. Build Your Credibility

As you build your credibility in your area of expertise over time, you find that more and more people seek you out[1]. They respect the results and accomplishments you’ve received, and this builds  your credibility. As your credibility increases, you find yourself in situations more and more often when people seek you out for advice. In a way, they are asking to be influenced by you due to your knowledge and expertise in certain areas.

On a personal level, I have been recruiting sales talent for over a decade. Needless to say, I’ve become pretty good at it. As such, I am asked to be involved in many sales-related initiatives that aren’t even related to recruiting.

On a personal level, I have been into fitness and wellness for many years. Because of this, I have friends and family who reach out to me fairly regularly to ask my advice on a new diet plan or workout regime they are thinking about trying. This all comes down to my credibility in certain areas. We all have them, and in these areas we are able to exert influence quite regularly.

5. Reciprocity

Have you ever had someone ask you for a favor after buying you lunch or dinner? This is the power of reciprocity at work. When someone does a favor or something nice for you, it almost always triggers an overwhelming feeling of obligation that you must do something nice for them next.

From a marketing perspective, you might see this as the company throwing in something “free” or “extra” for your purchase. Because you feel like they are doing you a favor by including the “free” item, it makes you feel stronger about making the purchase.

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In relationships, this works very well when you do a favor or help someone out in some way. They then feel obligated to help you out as well. This is a powerful tool in your persuasive toolkit.

6. Scarcity

Scarcity is an influencing technique you see many times in marketing[2]. When we see things advertised like “limited time offer” or “Memorial Day Sale Only,” it creates a sense of urgency in us. We feel like we have to hurry up or miss out on this fantastic offer they are only giving us on a very limited basis. And we don’t want to miss out! They are pushing our scarcity button.

This can also be used by us as individuals as one of our persuasive techniques. If we are leading a team and we say things like “We need to be the first to market on this or else our main competitor is going to get a big advantage,” it makes us want to get to market first. We don’t want to miss out on being the number one company.

It can also be used on an individual basis. Our manager might suggest we study for and achieve an additional certification that will help us get better at some component of our job. If we don’t hurry up and get with it, we might miss out on the next promotion.

7. Give People What They Want

Finally, a great influencing technique is to give people what they want. You accomplish this by helping others see that whatever issue you are trying to influence will positively impact them.

For example, let’s say your firm has an opportunity to land a big new client you are excited about. You also know it’s going to take a huge amount of work to put the winning proposal together to land the client. A way to help influence your team to come together and work hard on that proposal is to share with them how landing this big new client could positively impact their yearly bonus or career growth. I mean, being the team that lands the biggest new deal for the year is bound to reap them praise and possibly compensation, as well as help grow their careers. You’ve shown them how working towards this goal will give them something they want. Well done!

The Bottom Line

Look at you, you’re quite the influencer now aren’t you? We’ve looked at how powerful persuasive techniques can help you increase you ability to influence others. In many ways, influencing others is really all about getting people to work together to achieve a common goal. I think we can all agree how great it feels to work together to achieve more.

More on Persuasive Techniques

Featured photo credit: Andrew Neel via unsplash.com

Reference

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Mat Apodaca

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Last Updated on April 19, 2021

How to Deal With Anger (The Ultimate Anger Management Guide)

How to Deal With Anger (The Ultimate Anger Management Guide)

We all lose our temper from time to time, and expressing anger is actually a healthy thing to do in our relationships with others. Expressing our differences in opinion allows us to have healthy conflict and many times come to an agreement or understanding that works for everyone. However, there are times when anger can become overwhelming or damaging, and during these times, it’s important to learn how to deal with anger.

Expressing anger inappropriately can be harmful to relationships, both personal and professional. You may express too much anger, too often, or at times that are only going to make things worse, not better. In this article we will look at anger management techniques that will help you better control your emotions.

Let’s take a deeper look at how to deal with anger.

Expressing Anger

Anger is a natural and normal part of almost any relationship. This includes relationships with your significant other, kids, boss, friends, family, etc. Anger provides us with valuable information if we are willing to listen to it. It clues us in to areas where we disagree with others and things that need to be changed or altered.

Unhealthy Ways to Express Anger

Here are some common yet unhealthy ways to express anger that you should avoid:

Being Passive-Aggressive

This is a term many of us are familiar with. Passive-aggressive behavior happens when someone is angry but uses indirect communication to express their anger.

Some of the more common passive-aggressive behaviors include the silent treatment, making comments about someone behind their back, being grumpy, moody, or pouting, or simply not doing tasks or assignments that they should.

This is a passive-aggressive person’s way of showing their anger. It’s not very productive but extremely common.

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Poorly-Timed

Some people get overwhelmed and express anger in a situation where it can’t really do any good.

An example would be getting angry at one person in front of a crowd of people. All that does is make people uncomfortable and shuts them down. It’s not a healthy way to express anger or disagreement with someone.

Ongoing Anger

Being angry all the time is most often a symptom of something else. It’s healthy and normal to express anger when you disagree with someone. However, if someone is angry most of the time and always seems to be expressing their anger to everyone around them, this won’t serve them well.

Over time, people will start to avoid this person and have as little contact as possible. The reason being is no one likes being around someone who is angry all the time; it’s a no-win situation.

Healthy Ways to Express Anger

What about the healthy ways[1] to adapt? When learning how to deal with anger, here are some healthy ways to get you started.

Being Honest

Express your anger or disagreement honestly. Be truthful about what it is that is making you angry. Sometimes this will entail walking away and thinking about it for a bit before you respond.

Don’t say you’re mad at something someone did or said when it’s really something else that upset you.

Being Direct

Similar to being honest, being direct is a healthy way to express anger.

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Don’t talk around something that is making you angry. Don’t say that one thing is making you angry when it’s really something else, and don’t stack items on top of each other so you can unload on someone about 10 different things 6 months from now.

Be direct and upfront about what is making you angry. Ensure you are expressing your anger to the person who upset you or you are angry at, not to someone else. This is very counterproductive.

Being Timely

When something makes you angry, it’s much better to express it in a timely manner. Don’t keep it bottled up inside of you, as that’s only going to do more harm than good.

Think of the marriages that seem to go up in flames out of nowhere when the reality is someone kept quiet for years until they hit their breaking point.

Expressing anger as it occurs is a much healthier way of using anger to help us guide our relationships in the moment.

How to Deal With Anger

If you feel angry, how should you deal with it right at that moment?

1. Slow Down

From time to time, I receive an email at work that makes me so angry that steam is probably pouring out of my ears.

In my less restrained moments, I have been known to fire off a quick response, and that typically has ended about as well as you might imagine.

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When I actually walk away from my computer and go do something else for a while, I am able to calm down and think more rationally. After that happens, I am able to respond in a more appropriate and productive manner. Doing things that helps you learn how to release anger can make an uncomfortable situation more manageable before it gets out of hand.

2. Focus on the “I”

Remember that you are the one that’s upset. Don’t accuse people of making you upset because, in the end, it’s your response to what someone did that really triggered your anger. You don’t want to place blame by saying something like “Why don’t you ever put away your dishes?” Say something more like “Having dirty dishes laying on the counter upsets me—can you work with me to come to a solution?”

When you are accusatory towards someone, all that does is increase the tension. This doesn’t usually do anything except make your anger rise higher.

3. Work out

When learning how to deal with anger, exercise is a great outlet. If something happens that angers you, see if you have the opportunity to burn off some of the anger.

Being able to hit the gym to get a hard workout in is great. If this isn’t an option, see if you can go for a run or a bike ride. If you are at work when you become angry and the weather permits, at least go outside for a brisk walk.

Besides working some of your anger out through exercise, this also helps to give your mind a chance to work through some ways to address what it is that upset you.

If you’re not sure where to start with an exercise routine, check out Lifehack’s free Simple Cardio Home Workout Plan.

4. Seek Help When Needed

There are times when we could all use some help. Life can be stressful and overwhelming. It’s perfectly fine to seek some help from a mental health professional if it will help you get back to a healthy balance.If you find that you are angry all the time, it might be a good idea to go talk to an expert about learning to control intense emotions. They can give you some sound advice and ideas on how to get your anger to a more manageable and healthy level.

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5. Practice Relaxation

We all seem to lead incredibly busy lives, and that’s a good thing if we are loving the life we are living. That being said, it is very beneficial to our physical and mental well-being to take time out for relaxation.

That can mean spending time doing things that help us calm down and relax, like being around people we enjoy, practicing deep breathing or listening to music. It could be making time for things that help bring us balance like a healthy diet and physical activity.

Many people incorporate techniques such as yoga and meditation to calm their minds and release tension when learning how to deal with anger. Whatever your choice is, ensure you take time out to relax when warning signs of anger start to bubble up.

6. Laugh

Incorporating humor and laughter on a regular basis will help keep anger in check and help you get over a bad mood and feelings of anger more quickly. This isn’t part of formal anger management techniques, but you’ll be surprised by how well it works. Remember, life is a journey that’s meant to be enjoyed fully along the way through healthy emotion. Make sure you take time to laugh and have fun.Surround yourself with people that like to laugh and enjoy life. Don’t work at a job that just causes you stress, which can lead to anger. Work at something you enjoy doing.

7. Be Grateful

It’s easy to focus on the bad in life and the things that cause us negative emotions. It’s vitally important to remind ourselves of all the wonderful things in life that bring us positive emotions, things that we easily forget because we get caught up in the whirlwind of day to day life.

Take time out each day to remind yourself of a few things you are grateful for in order to help you learn how to release anger and invite in more positive feelings.

Final Thoughts

Life can be overwhelming at times. We seem to have constant pressure to achieve more and to always be on the go or motivated. People we are around and situations we are in can cause stress, anger, and negative emotions. At times, it can seem to be too much, and we get angry and our emotions start to get out of control.

During these times, keep in mind that life is an incredible journey, full of wonder and things that bring you joy. When you find yourself angry more often than is healthy, take time out to remember the good things in life—the things that we seem to forget yet bring us so much positive energy and emotions.

Use some of the tips included here to help with how to deal with anger and better control your emotions.

More Resources on Anger Management

Featured photo credit: Andre Hunter via unsplash.com

Reference

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