How Managers Use Persuasion

We cannot always get things to go the way we want them to – some managers are luckier than others when it comes to persuading others that their chosen path is the right path, but this run of luck is always short-lived.

The real truth is that management is a game of persuasion, regardless of the level a which you are operating. So, what can you do to increase your persuasion techniques to really get your points across, hopefully with the result that the recipient will eagerly accept and buy into your message?

The answer lies with you mastering the 4Cs of Persuasion which are outlined below:

  1. Connection: the need to connect with your audience is critically important. Consider what it is that you are asking for and think about why the other side would want to listen to you and go with your ideas. Why would they accept your views? What is stopping them from doing so? How are you working to solve a problem that they have and that they need your assistance with? Make sure that you clearly explain the benefits of your approach. Remember that people are persuaded by those that they feel they can get along with so polish up your soft skills and stress your ability to make things work.
  2. Credibility: does the other person/people involved believe that you can deliver and produce what you say you can? This is easily demonstrated through evidence that you will be able to supply that shows how you have been successful in the past and how that hard-gained knowledge will benefit them. Never use negative language and if possible, get some peer reviews that show how your ideas have worked for a range of internal and external customers.
  3. Clarity: a rambling pitch or presentation will never impress anyone! Structure either the presentation or proposal (or both!) with care and skill, taking time to get this right. Set out your argument in a logical manner making sure that your key points are present, are easy to find and are backed up with evidence of success. Make sure that the following three points are made:
  • What it is you are offering or proposing (who will be doing what, when, where and how)
  • Why your proposal will work
  • The value of the outcomes from them taking your advice and delivering what you want
  1. Consistency: have sections or stages in the argument that you are putting forward so that the other side can see exactly where your ideas are going. Stick to one approach in terms of explaining your ideas and always make sure that the details you are using can stand being questioned and taken apart in both discussion and direct challenges.
  2. Context: this is a business proposal as nobody is just given resources or projects to manage! Stress the current situation but paint a picture of how things will be different if your idea it taken up and implemented. Always make what you are proposing highly believable.

Good Luck!

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