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15 things you need to know about persuasion at work

 

1. We persuade and influence our family members, friends, clients, colleagues and managers every day of our life. Our days and filled with negotiating, finding compromise, updating, advising, selling, influencing and persuading.

2. Most people forget that we are actually influencing people all the time. So they treat their communication scenarios like informal conversations and don’t analyse their audience, prepare their message, and they definitely don’t take the time to rehearse. They are likely to ‘wing it’!

3. Remember you cannot not influence.

4. Expert communicators analyse their stakeholder, prepare their messages and even rehearse the delivery so they increase their chances of success.

5. You can communicate with stakeholders from three potential ‘positions’. 1st position is where you are in your own shoes – completely self indulgent and all you care about is yourself. 2nd position is where you are completely and utterly in your stakeholder’s shoes. 3rd Position is the helicopter view. From up in 3rd Position you can see your needs (1st Position) and you can see their needs (2nd Position) so from 3rd Position you can make some very good decisions about what is best for you and what is best for your stakeholder. Spend more time in 2nd and 3rd position than you currently do!

6. Rapport is all about a relationship or connection with your stakeholders. It’s easier to build rapport with people who are like you and you can’t ask for anything unless you are in rapport – well you can ask but they’ll probably say “no”!

7. Pacing is being as ‘like’ the other party as possible without mimicking them. You build rapport though matching, mirroring (pacing) people’s body language, eye contact, voice, language, interests, dress and attitudes (to name just a few areas).

8. The way that you pace someone’s attitude is with universals and truisms. Universals and truisms are statements that reflect back to the other party what they already know to be true. We call them ‘pacing statements’ because universals and truisms ‘pace’ your stakeholder’s attitudes.

9. Your leading statement is your key message, it’s often contentious and it must be reasonable. Your leading statement is the thing you are asking your stakeholder for. You don’t have permission to lead an audience without first pacing them.

10. The filter that determines our propensity to accept information on face value or not is called the Matcher/Mismatcher filter. People with a matching preference are those who look for what is true and correct, for what matches what they know to be true. People with a mismatching preference look for what is different to what they know to be true – where their reality is different to the presenter’s reality.

11. To meet the needs of your stakeholder, avoid absolutes in your pacing statements such as “never”, “all”, “everyone”, “must”, “should” and use CABS instead: “or not”, “many”, “most”, “some”, “few”.

12. Remember when it comes to persuasion, “No” is just feedback that you didn’t pace enough or properly. “Yes” is feedback that you did.

13. We manage objections with the POO technique. POO stands for: Pacing Out Objections.

14. There are 5 steps to the POO technique: state the objection; say ‘and’, ‘so’ or pause and say nothing, then say ‘actually’ or ‘in fact’, lead to a solution, and finally use the clever word ‘because’ with a meaningful reason.

15. Be careful of saying ‘But’, ‘However’, ‘Alternatively’, ‘Although’ because they all negate what you have just said and activate the fight/flight response in the stakeholder and incite them to fight you! Choose to say “and”, “so”, or just pause and say nothing.

I know you know this, it’s not rocket science, so take the time to plan your meetings in advance, analyse your performance at the conclusion of every meeting and continuously strive to be an expert communicator who masters the craft of persuasive communication.

© Michelle Bowden 2020.  Michelle Bowden is an authority on presentation & persuasion in business. Michelle is a CSP (the highest designation for speakers in the world), co-creator of the PRSI (a world-first psychometric indicator that tests your persuasiveness at work), best-selling internationally published author (Wiley), and a regular commentator in print, radio and online media. www.michellebowden.com.au

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