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Arguably Your Most Important Communication Skill – Rich’s Rules for Influence # 2

November 29, 2017

Rich's Rules TitlecardPersuasion is – arguably – your most important communication skill. Regardless of your station in life, it’s essential that you know how to get others to follow your lead, respond to your request, get on board with an objective or do the right thing in any given situation.

Many people bristle at the idea of persuasion. But, persuasion is your natural state. When you were born, and at your most vulnerable and dependent on others, you knew how to “work people” to get your needs met. A certain cry or look or action could send an alarm, melt hearts or bring cheers! As humans mature they lose much of this natural persuasive ability. As you work to develop your persuasive skills, consider these three things:

  • Persuasion is Pervasive

The act of persuasion is almost as common as the air you breathe. When you’re aiming to persuade someone to do something, they’re as likely to be working the two way street of influence by trying to convince you otherwise. Persuasion is at work in all places all the time. It’s a very normal, natural and important part of life. To ignore the power of persuasion is to do yourself a great disservice. There are simply times when you need to convince someone to do something. There are also times when someone is trying to get you to make a choice and being aware of his or her tactics can help you separate critical elements like the individual’s credibility, how reasonable is the choice and why you are feeling what you are feeling in regard to a decision.

  •  Everything is Arguable and Everyone Has Argument

Let’s start in your household – your spouse, children, dog and – yes – even you are working someone to get something so needs get met. You go to work and it’s more of the same but with different people in different uniforms and different titles and situations. You talk with a client, a vendor, a member, a donor, etc. and persuasion is at work. If you lead, manage, supervise, serve, sell, lobby, defend, prosecute, propose, market, instruct, coach, teach, nurse or you name it – everything is arguable and everyone has an argument.

  •  Persuasion vs. Coercion or Manipulation

Ideally, the act of persuasion leaves the other person feeling good about what’s been decided. If the person DOES feel good about a choice, then probably the idea was presented and accepted as being in the person’s best interest. You may also observe that when people have been forced or coerced into something they usually DO NOT feel good about a decision. And if people have been manipulated they often feel resentful after the fact and may vow to never be fooled again by that person or in that situation.

This series will continue later with these thoughts:

  •  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 a master’s degree in leadership communication, 30 years of experience coaching thousands of leaders and expertise in the art and science of persuasion.  More about Rich and his coaching programs at: Drinon & Associates


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