The Art of Persuasion

Rachard Dale, Writer

In any given moment we would all want to know how to encourage others to do what we think is right; whether that person is a co-worker, friend, family, spouse, or even a large group of strangers.

As infants we would encourage others to feed us by crying or throwing a tantrum, however, as slightly more mature individuals we have to turn to slightly more advanced methods of persuasion to steer individuals in a direction that might be more beneficial for everyone.

Like many others, Mrs. Fanuele and Mr.Walsh know that persuasion is one of the many essential tools to managing any part of society. When asked about the topic, both agreed that an individual should be attuned to what motivates their audience, and to use that as the basis to move forward.

In a more casual setting, or at least one that calls for a less abrasive approach, like a restaurant, Mrs. Fanuele encourages the use of a “compliment sandwich”. This method makes the user employ the use of empathy by starting off with a compliment, followed by the situation at hand, and wrapped up in another compliment.

For example, “Hey Samantha, mind if I steal you for a moment? I understand that you’re awfully busy today, and I can tell that you probably have other tables to attend to. However I would like if the (food item) could be cooked a bit more. Like I said, I understand that your job is taxing, and that you might not be totally available, so if you can not do it please feel free to say so.”

However, there will be times in which a more direct approach will be needed, says Mr. Walsh, in which case it is alright to assert your point of view, while still remaining open minded viewpoints that are different from your own.

Additional Tips:

  • Address the person by their name as often as possible: addressing a person by their name in a conversation is powerful, because it directs the person’s attention to you. Salesmen use this trick all the time.
  • DO NOT use the word “but”, when trying to have someone move towards your position in an argument. When trying to convert someone to your frame of mind, it is important to not negate the values that they hold dearly. This will in turn have the adverse effect, making the person less likely to want to work with you, mainly because they would have felt insulted by your disregard for what they care about.
  • Know when and how to make someone upset: going back to the idea being able to read a situation, in some cases it is more advantageous to upset someone, as opposed to making them feel better. Why? Disorientation.
  • Use open body language at all times: open body language is beneficial in two ways:
    • It makes you not only appear dominant, but also act as such. A bit of confidence is important when trying to encourage someone to move to a different beat. Think of it like this: would you follow a tour guide into the jungle if he/she is uncertain of which way is north?
    • It tells the person that you are open for conversation, encouraging them to speak when given the moment to.
    • Understand any and all sides of the situation: It’s important to listen to everyone’s point of view and know how to put your own aside.

For more tips click here.

Understanding how to lead others is an important tool in life. Being able to sway the views of the masses when the moment arises is a fundamental skill utilized by CEOs, doctors, teachers, parents, and virtually every person on this planet. However, being able to know how to persuade someone in the most effective manner could mean the difference between missing or taking a grand opportunity.

As a person, within a group, within a society, within a civilization, it is imperative to know how to exercise your ability to know how to move others in a way that might be best for everyone in our lives; whether that choice is whether or not we should eat pizza tonight, or how much should we invest into our future, it is important to know how to to gather individuals behind you for support.