You’re a parent coaxing your kids into doing homework. You’re an entrepreneur pitching your newest product to investors. You’re a manager motivating your team to follow your vision. In all three instances, meeting your goals requires persuading others skillfully. In this post, you’ll learn three ways to master the art of persuasion.
Listen and Learn
When we’re convincing someone to do something, too often, we use our own preferences, fears, and desires as a guide. While developing your persuasion strategy, take the other’s point of view. What motivates them? What are their fears? What are their desires? By truly understanding your audience, you’ll think more like them and less like you.
Tell Them What They Want to Hear
Once you’ve identified the other person’s motivations, fears, and desires, think about how to frame your pitch. When doing so, replace the words, “me” and “my” with “you” and “your”. People love hearing themselves referenced when you talk to them. For example, if you’re a manager inspiring your team, rather than say, “I have developed a set of exciting and ambitious goals to achieve next month,” say, “Once you hear about this month’s goals, you’ll be excited and motivated.”
Give Them What They Want. Not What You Want
Let’s say you’re a manager, and you’ve identified that one team member loves praise. Now, craft your message around identifying specific actions he or she has done that are praise worthy. Or, if another team member is motivated by things more than words, then consider rewards. Incentives, such as gift cards, don’t have to be costly. (Or they can be depending on your objectives.) People often appreciate small gestures of appreciation such as a free latte on you. Whatever you do, always be sure your actions reflect fairness and objectivity.
Be Selfless Rather than Selfish
To master the art of persuasion, you must put your own agenda aside and think deeply about others. Rather than base your actions on your own motivations, fears, and desires, you must fully invest in understanding the other person or group’s perspective. By taking a genuine interest in others, you’ll craft your message around their needs, not yours. Over time and with practice, you’ll convince and persuade with remarkable results.