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How to Be More Persuasive at Work

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Little is accomplished alone. To achieve complex goals, we often must rely upon the hard work and cooperation from those around us.

Therefore, our ability to be persuasive will either further our capacity to lead a successful, lucrative career, or it’ll greatly hinder our odds of achieving our full potential.

By learning how to get others to say “yes,” we can flourish in nearly any capacity of our professional lives.

Below, you’ll find three crucial tips that will aid any professional in their quest to win others to their way of thinking.

1. Stop expecting people to care about your needs.

The most important lesson in persuasion is that you can’t expect others to care about what you want. If you desire to become more persuasive, get in the habit of addressing the concerns of others.

When possible, avoid using the word “I” and begin substituting the word “you” in its place. Doing so will naturally guide you to talk in terms of the other party’s ambitions.

By focusing on their needs, we’re more apt to gain compliance and avoid resentment. For instance, a sales professional who wants to sell a new product to a customer is less likely to persuade by bragging about how technically innovative the product is.

Rather, it’s in their best interest to clearly define how the benefits of the product can assist the organization in cutting production costs and complexities. Ironically, the most effective way to get what you want is to be less concerned with your own needs and more in-tune to the desires of others.

Then, have faith that once you address the other party’s concerns, your concerns are going to be met.

2. Appreciate conflicting opinions instead of judging them.

Upon running into a disagreement, most people rush to judge the other party’s point of view and attempt to persuade through contradiction.

As many have seen from experience, this has the opposite of the desired effect. Cooperation in conversation is achieved when you show that you consider the other person’s ideas and feelings as important as your own.

Instead of condemning the other party, it’s much more effective to try to understand the reasoning behind their actions.

Once you decipher a person’s motives, you can adequately show respect for their beliefs and, upon doing so, have them listen to your point of view in a more open-minded manner. Most disputes are never settled because each party fails to show sympathy for the other’s opinions.

People are more likely to cooperate with you when they feel you respect their beliefs. Therefore, to gain agreement, it’s most effective to address that you recognize and appreciate the individual’s concerns. Once you show respect for their point of view, you can then begin to disarm and persuade that person to your way of thinking.

3. Avoid criticism and embrace appreciation.

One of the most effective ways to influence someone is simply to appreciate them. People do better work and put forth greater effort under a spirit of approval than they do under criticism.

By criticizing others, we dilute our ability to persuade. Disapproval puts a person on the defensive and usually makes him strive to justify himself.

Regardless of how mistaken someone may be, using condemnation as a motivator will often result in the other party detaching from your cause or, on occasion, doing the opposite of what’s requested.

Countless studies have shown that animals rewarded for positive behavior are much more apt to comply than those punished for bad behavior. People are no different. If you want to influence, show a sincere appreciation for the other individual and remember to avoid insincere flattery at all costs.

In the End

Remember that there’s a difference between influencing someone and manipulating them. If you find yourself persuading an individual to behave in a manner that’s less than mutually beneficial, you’re in breach of ethics and leaving yourself open to a surprisingly negative outcome.

This post originally appeared on Personalbrandingblog.com.

Photo: Thinkstock

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