Ever been in a situation when you think of your best arguments and statements 30 minutes after the meeting has finished? Managing your composure and presenting your arguments effectively are skills you never stop learning.
Whether you have to tackle a trivial complication or you have millions at stake, the most important factor in persuading someone will more often than not depend on how well you are able to communicate with others so that you influence their decisions.
Persuasion is a skill which requires you to use appeals to influence the reasons, values, beliefs and emotions of a listener, to make them think or act in a particular way. Sounds simple. So what gets in the way?
The bouts of inaction that attack us when we really need to make our point heard are referred to as ‘emotional hijacks,' in psychological terms. In recent years, neuroscientists have been able to track what happens physically in our brains — how they ‘short circuit' when we are hijacked, and how our decision-making functions are inhibited.
Learning to control our reactions under stress or pressure is the most important aspect in the art of persuasion. That does not discount the significance of great preparation and planning, another solution to make sure you seize the moment.
When presenting an idea, one of the most effective approaches is to provide all the evidence to support it, for both the positive impact and the potential negatives, if not executed. This includes not only financial information, but outcomes such as market share, environmental impact, customer satisfaction, andemployee turnover.
Preparing the evidence in a format that is easy to digest and powerful is critical to getting your point across quickly. In addition to presenting the positive impact of your idea, be clear about the potential downside of delaying it or worse, not taking any action at all.
Alternatively, if you provide a concession in a deal, the other party is likely to offer something back in return.
The natural law of scarcity is the law of the lacking. All collectors know that the less there is of something, the more it is worth.
In business it is about tapping into our desires to not lose out. Perhaps your product is only available for a limited time period, or there are only a few products available
To communicate the solution, we present ‘downwards', working from main message down to supporting detail. It is critical to know your main message as you plan to persuade others; getting lost in the background or details can quickly deteriorate your message and lead to confusion.
Keeping it simple but having depth, facts and background information is essential. It enables you to answer questions and prove your main message, but also provides you with confidence.
This confidence helps avoid the frustrations of ‘emotional hijacks'.
With a little preparation, organisation of thoughts and practice of delivering the message, you can master the art of persuasive communication and achieve your desired outcomes in business.
Read the full article "Planning and preparation can help in persuasion" published on Gulf News
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