When approached correctly, persuasion is one of the most important skills in the armour of the business manager.
Like power, persuasion can be an enormous force for the business.
The importance of mastering the art of persuasion is vital to the ability of a manger to efficiently address the challenges in the business.
Effective persuasion is achieved when managers arrive at shared and mutually beneficial solutions. We should utilize negotiation skills so that we perform joint problem solving and joint opportunity finding.
Persuation and negotiation skills are honed through careful preparation, innovative framing of problems and arguments, and communicating this in a most vivid manner. By establishing the most correct emotional match with other parties, managers will generate a climate of greater openness and a willingness to move to positions not previously held.
Four crucial variables in the persuasion equation :
- Establish credibility An audience that is presented with a new or contrary position will initially respond by determining whether the perspectives and opinions of the persuader can be trusted Unfortunately, the majority of managers over-estimate their credibility because they fail to understand that credibility primarily derives from their perceived expertise and the relationships they are able to establish. Credibility is the basis for effective persuasion. If you lack sufficient credibility, then the steps that follow are futile. High credibility ratings are reserved for those who have proven over time that they can be trusted to listen, to act in the best interests of others and to share credit for good ideas. Their behaviour is characterized by integrity, consistency and the ability to resist extreme mood swings.
- Framing for common ground Involve people and obtain their commitment for ideas or plans. It is best to begin by employing various types of dialogue to collect information, good listening, testing ideas with trusted co-workers and asking questions should precede the framing of a position.
- Providing evidence When credibility is established and a common frame developed, the focus shifts to providing the most vivid evidence to back the persuader's position. The most effective persuaders are adept at backing up numeric data with metaphors, analogies, stories and examples that bring their ideas and views to life. They are word artists who can compose compelling word pictures .
- Emotional Connection : Effective persuaders appreciate and use the immense power of language to their best advantage and to emotionally connect with their audience. On the surface, reason appears to be the primary force that drives business activities and persuasion. However, when exploring just beneath the surface we discover that emotion is a very prevalent and powerful determinant. Good persuaders know the importance of emotion. They respond to this insight by showing their own emotional commitment to the position they promote, and by being able to accurately sense how audiences have interpreted past events, are more likely to get proposals accepted.