6 things you can do to be more persuasive in the workplace

Trying to convince someone of an idea or product they may not agree with can be difficult; if a person feels like they are being challenged, they can become guarded.

However, using persuasion you can achieve the desired outcome without the other person feeling duped.

Business improvement specialist and managing director of Profitune Business Systems, Peter Rowe, recently wrote an article in the latest Leadership HQ magazine about how to achieve these persuasion skills using a 6-step process.

Referencing Robert Cialdini’s Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, which has sold more than 2 million copies since its publication in 1984, Rowe explains there are changes you can make both physically and mentally to be more influential.

Here are six tips that could increase your chances of getting what you want.

1. Get liked

a. First, optimise any first impression factors that contribute to your target audience’s liking or not liking you: hygiene, grooming, dress, piercings, tattoos, speech, gestures and manners. The aim is to minimise the gap in these between your natural level and that of your audience;

b. Second, optimise your chosen attitudes. Optimism is the best game in town and attracts most people, modesty helps;

c. Third, consciously choose effective intent towards your audience. Intending to like them is an ideal first step. Choosing respect for others also ranks high. Intending to discover ways in which you can be helpful completes the top three.

2. Be congruent

When your thoughts, words and deeds align (have internal congruity) you become credible; people tend to trust you more and to be more influenced by you. To improve on this point:

a. Choose to be responsible for and selective of your thoughts. Don’t wrestle with blocking out negative or low-quality thoughts. Instead displace them by choosing to continuously improve the quality of the conversations you have with yourself;

b. Practice commitment and let your word be your bond. Through consistency others learn this and trust you more;

c. Start small with the changes you ask of others, then build on those achieved.

3. Be selfless

Look for ways to help others without thinking of how they could repay you. They mostly will so you really don’t need to risk incongruity by clouding your thoughts with self-interest.

4. Develop authority

The sources of genuine authority include knowledge (knowing the right, effective or proven way); power (control of political, religious, economic resources); and charisma (mysticism, spiritualism, personal magnetism).

Many in business use (abuse) economic power as the basis for authority when it is only one of many sources and a relatively poor one at that. How might you broaden the basis of your own authority, to your benefit and that of others?

5. Create scarcity

If you deliberately move yourself towards the top of your marketplace you will find “the Apple Factor” beginning to apply. Apple restricts sales via deliberately high pricing and so holds only 7% of the world’s mobile phone market. Their profits, however, represent 70% of the sector’s total! LEGO are rumoured to deliberately meet only 90% of the current demand for their product. They are the world’s #1 toy company. How could you apply this?

6. Understand your market

Before you can employ social proof in your influencing behaviour, you first need a deep understanding of what matters to your audience. Once you are clear on that, your conversations with them needs to be primarily around helping them get what the best of people like them (or the people whom they want to be like) have.

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