The BBC recently highlighted research revealing that employees in open plan offices spend 73% less time in face to face interactions. Whilst email use increased by over 67%…
How to Persuade to Succeed
How to Persuade to Succeed
by Karin Singh 29/03/2018
You might have already realised in your personal, as well as professional life, that having great persuasive skills can be highly beneficial for your employee branding. On the other hand, having poor leadership skills can put you at a real disadvantage.
Some time ago I delivered some speeches in the UK and India on the topic “How much do Soft Skills really matter?” One of the leadership skills that I highlighted was about influential/persuasion skills. I made my audience aware about the fact that the moment you start your job hunt your convincing skills are already being put to the test. Let me explain in more detail from a career guidance counsellor’s perspective:
You apply for a job, you need to convince the Hiring Manager to invite you to a job interview. Once you get to that stage, you need to convince the recruiter to offer you the job. Once you have the job, you need to convince clients to do business with you, but not just that, also customers need to be convinced to buy from your company to make the business successful. Imagine you are doing such a great job that you feel you deserve a pay raise. Then again, you want to convince your boss that you deserve a pay raise and the convincing game doesn’t end.
Bear in mind, it’s not just about job hunting, there are many other workplace situations in which you need to show your influential skills at many different stages. If you are looking for improving your leadership skills you might want to learn how to become a master in:
- Convincing your boss to promote you to a higher position.
- Convincing your work colleagues of your idea and getting their support to implement it.
- Convincing your supervisor to give you days off when the company is going through a tough time and it would be more important to be working on those days.
- Convincing other business partners to do business with you and to build a long-term relationship.
- Convincing potential employees to work for your company and promote your organisation as a great place to work.
- Convincing a work colleague to do a job that you were supposed to do.
- Convincing other team members to choose you as their team leader and make sure that they follow your instructions.
So, how can you be more persuasive to achieve your goals and improve your employee branding at the same time? Because let’s not forget, very often it’s all about getting results. And you get those results by influencing and convincing (not manipulating negatively!) others.
It doesn’t mean you need to be the boss or the know-it-all within the company, if you want to succeed in the long term, you need to learn how to be more persuasive in many different situations. Unfortunately, schools don’t really teach you this kind of skill, and also parents might not consider it as a priority to teach it to their young or older children. Thus, it would be essential to improve your leadership skills to be more persuasive and increase your influence:
- Be confident and articulate in your communication so that people can easily understand you.
- Have all the relevant data and statistics at hand to back up your claims. This will help you to be perceived as more credible and trustworthy person.
- Give others an answer to the popular question “What is in it for ME?” Tell others the BENEFITS they can expect from taking certain action. It’s all about that! Why should they listen to you and do what you expect them to do? This is the most important part in persuading others. Let them know the value, the benefit they can get. Put your emphasis always on others by focusing on the YOU, YOU, YOU. When I’m promoting my services, I highlight the benefits to jobseekers that they will get by working with me. For example: YOU will be more confident, YOU will land the job, YOU will increase your reputation, YOU will earn a higher salary, YOU will achieve your goals, YOU will optimize your career, YOU will solve your dilemma and much more.
- Ask other people about their goals. The moment other people see that you make an effort to find out from where they are coming from, they will take you more seriously. Asking other people about their goals at an early stage in the conversation – and doing this on a regular basis -, helps you to persuade them in a more effective way.
- When listening to others, let them know that you understood what they were saying. How? By speaking it out loud. This way, they will be more likely to listen to what you have to say. Don’t focus on your own goals, instead, try to understand other people’s goals.
- Let people know that you are flexible when it comes to changing circumstances and you are open to hearing their perspectives. Even though highly influential people have their own plans and goals, they are not completely fixated to everything playing out in their way.
- Show first your excitement about others, and then they will feel more excited about you, too.
- Constantly talking to others and nagging them, might not always work as a convincing tactic. Often this strategy is used to grind others into submission by reiterating their point of view on a constant basis. Is this, really what you want to do? Usually, those who are persuaded in this way, don’t really buy into that idea and don’t show real commitment to it.
- Don’t abuse your position of power to getting others to do things you want them to do. This is called ‘coercion’ and forces people to do things they feel they must do, but don’t really want to do. The real art of persuasion consists in not making it look like persuasion and being able to get other people to want to do what you want them to do.
- Observe how other influential people persuade others and see if there is anything you can adapt in your own strategy to be a more persuasive person.
- Don’t try too hard to persuade others either by talking too much, providing too much information, confusing them or by using aggressive language. It will put people off faster than you can imagine.
So, what makes a successful influencer with developed leadership skills? This is a person who is confident, who knows that they are going to succeed, who has a high level of emotional intelligence, is reliable, takes responsibility, is genuine, knows their subject and knows how to build rapport with very different types of people. From career counselling for experienced professionals you will learn that the moment you start looking at things the same way as others do, you will have it easy to persuade others the right way. Thus, learn to understand how your audience thinks, and you will have the edge.
Karin Schroeck-Singh’s passion lies in creating, translating and promoting content of high-quality in multiple languages (English, German, Italian). She holds an MBA from the University of Leicester (UK) and is the author of several ebooks. She gained more that 20 years of international work experience in various industries in Italy, the UK and India. Helping businesses to optimise their online presence is her priority, no client tr project is too big or too small for her.
Stop worrying. Start outsourcing! www.hirekarin.comKarin Schroeck-Singh
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