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The art of persuasion: 5 tips

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in Leaders & Managers,Leadership Skills

Persuasion is the art of getting others to want to do what you want them to do. Many times you’ll obtain cooperation with any effort to persuade. But sometimes you need a special approach or two to get the buy-in. Here are some tips:

  1. Detail the benefits. The basic method of persuasion is to show the person the personal benefits of doing the task. Emphasize such benefits as adding to his or her skills, building more contacts or earning rewards.
  2. Explain why. When dealing with dedicated team members, you can often increase their enthusiasm for a particular assignment by explaining why it’s important to the team and the organization.
  3. Offer a challenge. One interesting approach is to engage the other person’s excitement and determination to accomplish what you want by making it a challenge. This works exceptionally well when the task lies outside the other person’s daily routine.
  4. Offer a sense of history.  A very sophisticated technique of persuasion is to help the other person understand the payoff that others have earned by doing the same kind of work in the past. For example, perhaps a person who did the same task last year won a promotion or received a substantial bonus.
  5. Work out a compromise. It’s much easier to persuade someone to do what you want if you can be flexible enough to compromise on some of the details. For example, you might agree to let him or her do just half the work, or do it in a different location, or get a day off next week in return for completing the assignment this week.

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