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The Power of Persuasion

Persuasion hinges on arousing emotions in another person. People with this ability know that they have to appeal to what the listener cares about. Persuaders often appeal to a person’s respect for power, excitement about a project, desire to outdo a competitor, or outrage concerning an injustice.

Arousing emotions

Some key skills that factor into persuasion are:

Empathy – Good persuaders have empathy for their audience. They understand what motivates the people they’re trying to persuade. For instance, if you know that your boss is concerned about overhead and turnover you know that you will have a better chance of success if you can target these issues.

Rapport – Strong persuaders build rapport with their listeners. They get along well with the audience. You must be able to have a pleasant conversation with your boss before you can convince him. You should build a casual relationship before pushing your agenda.

Indirect influence – This is a way of getting someone else to convince the target audience. You could provide your boss with magazine articles and other reports that support your point of view. The evidence might convince him.

Emotional cues – It’s important to be able to read emotional cues. If you bring up something and your boss looks uncomfortable, he may have a concern you need to address. If you miss subtle signals like this, you may offend the person you’re trying to convince.

Adapting to the audience – Good persuaders always know when to switch their tactic. If the target audience isn’t responding, the method of persuasion needs to change.

Types of appeals

With each type of appeal, list some strategies or techniques that you can use. You can also list people or resources that may assist you.

Types of appeal include:

Logical appeals – These appeals help the listener see the logical benefits of your position. What facts and figures will convince your audience?

Dramatic appeals – These appeals are emotional and help people see what will happen if they take or refuse your advice. What can you do to vividly demonstrate the importance of your viewpoint?

Building support – This involves building relationships with people who may help convince decision-makers. Who can help you?

Managing impressions – This involves ensuring that you present the right impression through your appearance, speech, and behavior. What can you do to make your audience see you as trustworthy?

It’s therefore important to use a variety of methods in the persuasion process. Everyone is unique and will be convinced by different approaches.