The Power of Persuasion in Business Dialogue
July 23, 2012 by Bill Rosenthal

The Power of Persuasion. Sounds like a magical spell that one person casts over a powerless victim. Let’s take a look at this often misunderstood and underutilized business tool.

First of all, what is persuasion?

For the purposes of our discussion, let’s define persuasion as:

“Using communication without deceit to change the attitude, belief, point of view or behavior of another person.”

When we persuade, we want them to behave differently than they might have otherwise.

What persuasion is not:

1. Only about what you say: Persuasion takes groundwork. It takes excellent listening skills. By listening first to what is important to the person or people you want to persuade, you will be better prepared to achieve your goals.

2. Negotiating. There’s a connection between the two; you have to be persuasive in order to get the best terms when you negotiate, but negotiation is about terms and details. Persuasion happens long before you get to the terms of the deal. You may even have to persuade someone to negotiate.

3. A guaranteed success. No matter how good your persuasion skills, you must accept that no matter what you say or do, you will not convince someone else to change their opinion.

What is persuasion useful for?

  1. Persuasion gets things done. Think about it this way: as a manager, it’s much more effective to use persuasion to get things done, rather than to give orders or pull rank. Better for employee morale, too!

  2. Persuasion motivates. Persuasive people leave a good impression. They can rally the troops and foster collaboration and productivity.

One final note on persuasion is that every point of view is valid to the person who holds it. In order to be persuasive, you must be respectful of those you want to persuade. Negating someone else’s point of view is risky. Communispond teaches that it is crucial to understand the other person’s point of view before persuading them to accept yours. The ultimate result, when taking this approach is an effective and productive business dialogue practice.            

Learn how our Persuasive Dialog program can help you become more persuasive in your communications.