Most people are born persuasive – with an innate ability to get their needs met at a most vulnerable stage.  But if no one hears your cries, comes to your rescue, responds with love to your endearing expressions or correctly analyzes when something is wrong based on your non-verbal, vocal and verbal cues – you’re in trouble!  Perhaps it’s the culture, but as people mature a large percentage seem to lose their persuasive abilities and look down on the idea of persuading, influencing or convincing others as somehow negative or beneath them.

But persuasion has applications for both survival and success.  As a leader you must recognize that it usually takes some persuading to get followers on board with a particular change or objective.  This Rules for Influence Series looks at better ways to make your case, discussing how to be more influential, persuasive and convincing.   For now, please consider the following:

  • Persuasion is arguably your most important communication skill (pun intended).
  • YOU ARE the persuasive message (Like it or not, accept or deny, 24.7.365).
  • It helps to speak the other person’s language (Remember that DISC assessment you took a while back?)
  • You can master the three key persuasive ingredients. (mixing credibility, logic and emotional appeal).
  • You must adjust to each audience and situation differently (from individual to large group and friendly to hostile situations).

Rich Drinon, M.A. is a leadership communication skills coach with an advanced education in leadership communication and coaching,  30 years of experience coaching leaders and managers and expertise in the art and science of persuasion.