A Harvard psychologist gave me a single piece of advice on how to be more persuasive at work -- and it's a tip anyone can use

Amy cuddy headshotBob O’ConnorAmy Cuddy.

With the publication of her 2015 book “Presence,” Harvard psychologist Amy Cuddy let readers in on a secret.

When you’re “present,” which Cuddy defines as being attuned to and able to express your full potential, you’re not obsessing over what other people think of you. Instead, you’re more focused on what you think of you.

The end result is that you appear more confident, powerful, and persuasive to others.

So how exactly do you go about shifting the focus from others to yourself? When I spoke with Cuddy last week, she gave me some practical advice on doing just that at work, as a reporter for Business Insider.

When I’m pitching a story idea to my team, Cuddy said, I should think less about why other people will care about this topic and more about why I care about it.

“You really want to get in touch with the core thing — what it is that really makes you want to write this piece. You’re not selling 10 things about it. Get in touch with the main emotion that’s driving you to want to write this.”

My coworkers “don’t have to love it for the same reason,” Cuddy added. But the sheer excitement that I bring to the idea will make them excited about it, too.

While this advice was specific to me and my job, it could easily apply to anyone in any industry. Maybe you’re trying to sell a client on a new product, or convince your boss to let you spearhead a new initiative.

Whatever it is, try not to say what you think others want to hear. Don’t be afraid to tell your story.

That way, you’ll seem enthusiastic and authentic — the very best version of yourself.

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