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The Art of Persuasion: How to Hone Your Influencing Skills

The art of persuasion, of influencing the people around you, is a vital skill in the workplace. Without it, you’ll simply be ineffective. Sure, you can bend people to your iron will, or get people to do what you want with compulsion, manipulation or coercion, but at the cost of trust and long-term cooperation with colleagues or customers.

Persuasion is a different beast; subtle, but far more powerful in the long-term. So, how can you can you hone your influencing skills, to benefit yourself and those around you? Well, there’s a certain amount of groundwork you need to lay first.

Whether it’s a telephone pitch to a potential client or influencing colleagues at work, the same principles apply even if the timescales differ

It’s not (just) about the benefits.

We all know there are things we should be doing for our own benefit, but never quite get round to. The forces that motivate us aren’t quite as simple as personal gain or loss, punishment or reward.

You can have an incredible pitch on paper, but people will respond to you, or rather how they perceive you, as much as what you have to say.

Emotion screws with the wiring when we make decisions. Of course you need the numbers, but it’s never enough just to make them understand your case. They have to be eager to do business with you.
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