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How to Influence People – Influence and Persuasion Techniques


How to Influence People – Influence and Persuasion Technique

how to influence peopleHow to influence people is a daunting task. It is focused on methods of verbal influence and persuasion. Careful consideration is required to make an effective case. To this end, four essential aspects must be followed. These aspects are detailed here.

Stating your objective

Stating your objective requires short, informative explanations using simple, straightforward language. This explanation should also include

  • a description of how your objective benefits the organization
  • a request for your audience’s attention
  • a demonstration of value to people as well as to the mission of the organization

Demonstrating persuasion techniques

There are several common methods of verbal persuasion.

Problem and solution is a technique that describes an existing problem and then outlines a suggested solution. This technique is best when no other solution is to be offered.

Comparative advantage compares and contrasts the benefits of two or more solutions or options. This technique is best when you wish to emphasize the superiority of your preferred solution.

Reason giving provides three to five reasons why your audience should think, feel, believe, or act the same way as you do. This technique is best when you have a lot of expertise and facts to support your position.

Motivated sequence persuades and motivates through five steps:

  • attention: describe the situation or solution you wish to achieve
  • need: explain the need for this situation or solution
  • satisfaction: explain what is required to satisfy the need
  • visualization: ask the listener to visualize the positive effect of satisfying the need
  • action: give instructions on how to effect the change.

This technique is best when you want immediate action.

Using questions

Using questions can help persuade and influence by encouraging dialogue, obtaining agreement, and guiding discussion.

Open-ended questions require more than a “yes” or “no” and encourage dialogue.

Close-ended questions require a “yes” or “no” and focus responses in order to obtain agreement.

Leading questions guide the listener by suggesting the specific desired response. For example, “If we hope to encourage customers to purchase the new version of our product, shouldn’t we provide a means for them to recycle their old versions?”

Acknowledging opposing perspectives

No matter your success with the above steps, opposition can still remain, which is often frustrating. These steps can help overcome differing perspectives.

  • Imagine the person’s position. Keep an open mind and consider the other person’s perspective.
  • Ask directly about the problem. Ask what problem or roadblocks remain in the person’s mind.
  • Agree with reservations. Agree with the other person’s perspective but reserve the right to pause the discussion if it becomes counterproductive.
  • Raise the relationship. Highlight common ground and explain the beneficial relationship that your positions share.

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