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One-minute strategies to build persuasive power

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in Workplace Communication

Build morale by “noticing out loud.”
It sounds simple but it takes empathy. Test the technique with a waiter or salesperson (“You’ve pointed out features I didn’t even notice—that was so helpful!”), and then watch how his or her attitude and service improve.

Command respect at work by wearing navy blue.  It’s the favorite color of politicians and CEOs for a reason. Color researchers say it communicates an image of power, loyalty and dependability: traits people look up to.

Repackage your ideas to sell. If you believe in an idea that didn’t fly with customers, brainstorm other ways to repackage the same concept. Proof in the pudding: The diet book titled The Moderate Carbohydrate Diet only achieved modest sales until it was retitled as The South Beach Diet.

Run a fast meeting by starting and ending it according to a clock or stopwatch that everyone can see. Meetings at Google feature a four-foot ticking clock projected onto a wall.

Become a better conversationalist by using information you know about someone to ask questions. Example: “I remember you love gardening. What are you growing these days?” Recalling details from prior conversations will prove that you respect and listen to that person.

Gain support for your idea by repeating it from time to time. According to researchers at Virginia Tech, when people hear the same idea over and over—even from the same source —it gives the impression that it’s a popular viewpoint, which makes people more likely to agree to it.

Cut back e-mail volleys by providing “if-then” options. Examples: “If you have completed the work, then please confirm via e-mail. If not, then please estimate when you expect to finish.” Or, “Bob can meet at 10 a.m. or 2 p.m. Will one of those times work? If not, please reply with two times that would work for you.”

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