Influencing and Persuasion Techniques

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As a leader, your job is to achieve organizational goals, but you can’t do this by yourself. You need the help of others in your organization. You may have good ideas, but you can’t force people to embrace them. Effective use of influence and persuasion will help you build trusting and respectful relationships. And in turn, you’ll be better able to secure support for your ideas and lead successfully through change.

The terms influence and persuasion are usually used interchangeably in this context. Consider what these terms encompass

  • Influence affects change or action without using authority or control. And persuasion is a form of communication that uses logical arguments and evidence to gain support. Neither involves overpowering, bullying, pushing, or coercing to get what you want.
  • Exchanges based on the use of influence and persuasion are characterized by equality, caring, and respect for the ideas and logic of all contributors. Together, they’re used to inspire, motivate, resolve conflicts, sell ideas, change values, establish vision, and educate and empower others.

Three things provide the foundation for effective influence

  • Communication
  • Personal power
  • Credibility

Leaders with good communication skills, strong personal power, and credibility will have more influence. But leaders also have another important source of power – position power – which is derived from their role within their organization. Leaders are likely to have four sources of position power in common

  • formal authority
  • control over hard rewards, such as promotions
  • control of the flow of information
  • the ability to reduce uncertainty about the future of the organization, and individuals or groups within the organization

Influencing people

In your leadership role, influence is more important than power. Techniques that can help you influence others include asking for what you want, customizing the message, using questions, acknowledging opposing perspectives but moving on, using logic and evidence, and providing options that people can agree to without compromising their position or dignity.

First is asking for what you want. Sometimes you get what you ask for, but if you aren’t clear, it might not be what you wanted. Take the time to clearly define what it is you want and why.

The next technique is customizing the message to appeal to the person you need to influence. This requires knowledge of the person, such as her interests and agenda.

Using questions – the third technique – can be very useful when attempting to persuade. There are two types of questions to ask

  • open-ended questions
  • closed-ended questions

The next three techniques you can use to influence others are

  • Acknowledging opposing perspectives but moving on
  • Using logic and evidence
  • Providing options that people can agree to without compromising their position or dignity

Influence is the ability to move people toward the achievement of specific outcomes.Six techniques can help you influence others and gain their support – asking for what you want, customizing the message, using questions, acknowledging opposing perspectives but moving on, using logic and evidence, and providing options that people can agree to without compromising their position or dignity.

 

 

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