So much of your job as a business leader ultimately comes down to one simple word: persuasion. The power of persuasion cannot be denied, but rest assured that it is every bit as much an art as it is a science. Success in the world of business demands that people work together and cooperate with one another and by persuading the people around you to embrace that idea of collaboration not because you tell them to but because you genuinely want them to, you’ll find that success is an inevitability in terms of your own personal objectives.
Conflicting Opinions Are Your Friend
One of the most important persuasion techniques to understand is the idea that disagreements are not necessarily a bad thing. Conflicting opinions don’t exist for you to judge. They should be appreciated for what they are – simply a differing point of view.
Mastering the art of persuasion in this regard requires you to listen to dissenting opinions in a more open-minded manner. You’ll never be able to settle a dispute because you demand an end to a conflict – you need to show sympathy for someone else’s opinion and show that you deeply respect their beliefs, regardless of whether or not they’re opposed to your own. At that point, you can begin to disarm a person’s way of thinking by clearly and concisely conveying why you believe that your reasoning is ultimately founded on solid ground.
It’s About Appreciation
One of the most powerful persuasion techniques that you would do well to use as often as possible involves avoiding criticism in favor of genuine appreciation. If an employee does something that you’re unhappy with, criticizing them tends to immediately put them in a defensive head space. This type of defensiveness is and will always be the enemy of productivity and collaboration, so do well to avoid it whenever possible.
If you want to persuade and influence your employees, you need to show a sincere appreciation for the contribution they make – even if that contribution isn’t exactly what you wanted. People who are appreciated are much more likely to follow your lead than ones who are punished for what you perceive to be “bad behavior.”
Don’t Focus on Yourself – Focus on Others
Your employees won’t just care about your needs as a leader because you tell them to. You can’t EXPECT them to care about what you’re trying to do, you have to get them to want it for themselves. One of the best ways to do this is to stop using the word “I” and to start using the word “you” whenever possible. Consider these two examples:
“I need you to do A, B, and C because it will help accomplish X, Y and Z goals.”
“If you would help by completing A, B and C tasks, it would benefit us in terms of X, Y and Z.”
Both sentences accomplish the same goal of delegating responsibility, but they arrive at that destination in two completely different ways. The former is a command – you’re giving an order. The second emphasizes a person’s contribution by placing the emphasis on the employee rather than the task itself, allowing you as a leader to focus their own ambitions in the direction you need them to go.
At 360training.com, we understand deeply just how important the principles of persuasion are to your continued success as a business leader, not just in terms of your own career but for the goals of your organization as a whole. Browse hundreds of online courses that not only strengthen your persuasion skills but also the tackle other business essentials for professional development. Contact us today to receive a FREE demonstration of any of our comprehensive and valuable training programs.