5 Essential Tips to Influence and Persuade Others at the Workplace

Posted January 27, 2011 by
Shweta Khare

Shweta Khare of CareerBright

Persuasion and influence are your stepping stones towards success, whether at the workplace of in our personal lives — we are influencing and persuading others in different ways. How good are you at this essential art of getting things done your way? Before you head on to persuade others, mark the following checklist and see how well you are prepared before others listen to what you have to say.
1. Get in the Shoes of those you wish to Persuade

Always think why the other person would be influenced by you, it is now always about how good you are at persuasion but first think about what they want and how they would want to be influenced for a particular work or situation. Do the ground work first – always do your research on how would they benefit from the solution you have to offer.

2. Be Credible

Before you are able to persuade others think how credible you are to that person or situation. Why would they listen to you? Are you knowledgeable enough to persuade others to act according to your idea? If not, first act on this checklist item before approaching others.

3. Be an Effective Communicator

Note I did not say a “good” communicator. Being good and being effective are two different things. How effectively you persuade others depends a lot on how smart and effective you are at your communication skills. Polish your soft skills and learn the art of tact before you walk the path of influencing others.

4. Be a Good Listener

Not only the words that are exchanged but the body language says a lot about how you finally get persuasion and influence to work. Show patience and empathy towards what others have to say and change your persuasion style accordingly. We all are different and there is no universal style of persuasion that works for everyone. Prepare your presentation or the final solution after you assess and understand how others respond to your ideas.

5. Practice Persuasion in Real and Hypothetical Situations

Do not assume that on day one you would head out and persuade anyone and everyone and get things done your way. The art of persuasion and influence is a hard nut to crack. It takes practice and experience before you can master the act. Practice and rehearse how you will present the situation and create all possible “or-if” possibilities and how to best present your proposal which is mutually beneficial.

The followings is adapted from a recent press release of updated, fifth edition of his classic book, INFLUENCE: Science and Practice (Allyn and Bacon, August 2008). In this new edition Dr. Robert B. Cialdini, one of the world’s leading experts in the field of persuasion, reveals six universal principles that everyone needs to understand for business and personal success. The six principles include:

Reciprocation – People feel indebted to others who do something for them or offer them a gift. That’s why free samples are so effective. Getting something for nothing makes buyers feel obligated to purchase.

Commitment and Consistency – People are more likely to follow through with something if they have committed to it, verbally or in writing.

Social Proof – Whether they realize it or not, people look to others for cues on how to behave and what to believe.

Liking – “People prefer to say yes to individuals they know and like,” says Cialdini. Research shows that people attribute talent, kindness, honesty, and intelligence to people they find attractive.

Authority – There is strong pressure in society for people to obey authority figures and experts. Authority comes in many forms. Dressing in a business suit makes one appear authoritative at work. Size – being tall – and status – such as a high-ranking job title – also increase one’s authority and makes it easier to influence others.

Scarcity— According to the scarcity principle, people assign more value to objects and opportunities that come in limited quantities or are more difficult to obtain.

Article by Shweta L. Khare, founder and president of Careerbright and Speakbright and courtesy of Careerbright blogspot

Originally posted by Candice A

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