Brain Food: Your route to the top - Peaceful persuasion

Have a plan. Consider the route that you are going to take and how to deal with resistance. But be ready to change it.

Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

Know your audience. Discover their real concerns and interests, whether that might be wanting a promotion or to close a deal quickly.

Put them in a good mood. Gentle flattery is surprisingly effective. They will be more open to persuasion if they feel favourable towards you.

Choose your moment. Be conscious of their frame of mind - just after a difficult board meeting is probably the wrong time. Seize the good moments as they appear.

Do as they do. Match their body language (if they lean forward, do the same). This will put them at ease and encourage a stronger emotional connection.

What's in it for them? Show that it's in their best interest to agree with you. Convince them that they are on to a good thing, where you'll both share in the success.

Describe the end result. Be sure to demonstrate how the new situation will be better than the present one.

Get them to do the work. Ask questions that guide them to your conclusion.

People are more likely to agree if they feel that they've come to the conclusion - at least partly - themselves.

Make your case. State all the facts; be clear about the pros and cons.

Offer solutions that will resolve their concerns and turn weaknesses into strengths.

Do them a favour. Tell them what you will do for them in return. They might well feel indebted to you and therefore more likely to agree.

Use your allies. Refer to the views of someone whose opinion they care about. People are more likely to think or do something if others they respect do too.

The Mind Gym,

Find this article useful?

Get more great articles like this in your inbox every lunchtime