Every day we influence people. Whether that be in marketing and sales, helping your staff make decisions, or even persuading your boss, you need to know how to both influence and persuade individuals in several ways in order to be successful. When an individual uses reason or logic to achieve an outcome, they are utilizing persuasion. Influence, however, involves modifying an environment in order to make an outcome more likely.
When looking at persuasion and influence, it is important to note the difference between manipulation and persuasion. While persuasion advances the position of all individuals involved, manipulation is a tactic that will uplift one person and negatively impact another. Persuasion is often used to sell products, to recruit team members, and to increase productivity. Moreover, persuasive individuals can facilitate strong group decision making.
Persuasion encompasses several other skills including communication, emotional intelligence, active listening, negotiation, and reasoning. Effective communication skills are the foundation upon which individuals can build their persuasive skills. The overarching goal of being persuasive is to influence others to think, act, or perform in a specific way — the fastest way to do this is through speaking with someone. Subsequently, people who are strong communicators that use nonverbal gestures and speak clearly are often able to be more persuasive. One of the most fundamental aspects of being a strong communicator is active listening. It is essential to be open and attentive to what others are saying. In order to persuade someone, you must understand where they are coming from to be more persuasive.
Negotiation is a critical aspect of successful persuasion. To successfully persuade someone, you may need to facilitate a compromise so that they participate. As such, it is essential to both meet and understand one’s wants and needs.
Influence and persuasion training is one of the best ways to ensure that you are fully equipped to negotiate and be persuasive in the workplace. Influence and persuasion training can teach you to make decisions about utilizing persuasion versus manipulation, as well as how to make a persuasive presentation.