Your ability to influence and persuade others to help you get the things you want in life is one of the most important skills you can develop. Developing your persuasion skills will help you get more things you want faster than anything else you can do. It can mean the difference between success and failure. It can guarantee your progress and enable you to use all of your other skills and abilities at the very highest level. Your ability to persuade others will earn you the support and respect of your friends, colleagues, and co-workers.
Fortunately, persuasion is a skill, like riding a bicycle, that you can learn through study and practice. To achieve any measure of success you must become absolutely excellent at influencing and motivating others to support and assist you in the achievement of your goals and the solving of problems. All successful people have mastered the art of getting other people to work with and for them in the accomplishment of their objectives. And so can you.
You can either persuade others to help you or be persuaded to help them. It is one or the other. Most people are not aware the every human interaction involves a complex process of persuasion and influence.
The key to persuasion is motivation. Every human action is motivated by something. If you want to persuade others you must find out what motivates them and then provide that motivation. People have two major motivations: the desire for gain and the fear of loss.
The desire for gain motivates people to want more of the things they value in life. They want more money, more success, better health, more influence, more respect, more love, and more happiness. Human wants are limited only by individual imagination. No matter how much a person has, he or she still wants more and more. When you can show a person how he or she can get more of the things he or she wants by helping you achieve your goals, you can motivate them to act on your behalf.
People are also motivated to act by the fear of loss. This fear, in all its various forms, is often stronger than the desire for gain. People fear financial loss, loss of health, and the loss of anything they have worked hard to accomplish. They fear change, risk, and uncertainty because these threaten them with potential losses. Whenever you can show a person that, by doing what you want them to do, they can avoid a loss of some kind, you can influence them to take a particular action. The very best acts of persuasion are those where you offer an opportunity to gain and an opportunity to avoid loss at the same time.
The most powerful word in persuasion and influence, is the word, “Ask.” The world belongs to those who ask. It belongs to those men and women who are not afraid to stand up and ask for the things they want. Persuasive people know that the worst thing that can happen to them if they ask for something is that the other person can say “No.’ If the other person says, “No,” all that happens is they are back at the same position that they were before they asked in the first place. By asking, they have everything to gain and nothing to lose. And it’s amazing what you can get by simply asking. Of course, you must learn to be a good asker. You must ask politely. You must ask positively. You must ask expectantly. You must ask with a pleasant tone of voice. You must ask in a friendly manner. You must ask openly and honestly. You must ask in such a way that the other person feels comfortable considering your request. But you must ask. All persuasion and influence is based on a foundation of asking intelligently for the things you want from the people who can help you get them.
One of the most powerful forms of persuasion to achieve success is by using leverage. Leverage simply means doing and accomplishing more with less. Using other people’s efforts, knowledge, and money to help you reach your goals.
Leveraging yourself through other people’s efforts means getting others to work with and for you in the accomplishment of your objectives. Sometimes you can ask them to help you voluntarily, although people won’t work for very long without some personal compensation. At other times you can hire them to help you, thereby freeing you up to do higher-value work.
The definition of management is “Getting things done through others.” To be a manager you must be an expert at persuading and influencing others to work in a common direction. This is why all excellent managers are also excellent low-pressure salespeople. They do not order people to do things; instead, they persuade them to accept certain responsibilities, with specific deadlines and agreed-upon standards of performance. When a person has been persuaded that he or she has a vested interest in doing a job well, he or she accepts ownership and responsibility, the manager can then step aside confidently, knowing the job will be done right and on schedule.
In every part of your life, you have a choice of either doing it yourself or delegating it to others. Your ability to get someone else to take on the job with the same enthusiasm that you would have is an exercise in personal persuasion. It may take a little longer in the beginning, but it saves you an enormous amount of time in the completion of the task.
Another important form of leverage is when you use other people’s knowledge. You must be able to tap into the brain power of as many other people as you can if you want to accomplish worthwhile goals. Successful people are not those who know everything needed to accomplish things, rather, they are people who know how to find the people who have the knowledge they need.
In the Information Age you are never more than one book, or a phone call away from any piece of knowledge in the country. With the Internet you can access and get precise information anywhere in the world in a matter of minutes. Whenever you need information and expertise from another person in order to achieve your goals, the very best way to persuade them to help you is to ask them for their assistance.
Almost everyone who is knowledgeable in a particular area is proud of their accomplishments. By asking a person for their expert advice, you compliment them and motivate them to want to help you.
Your ability to use other people’s money and resources to leverage your talents is the key to financial success. Your ability to buy and defer payment, to sell and collect payment in advance, rent, lease, and borrow money from other people to help you multiply your opportunities is one of the most important skills that you can develop to achieve success. And all of these depend on your ability to persuade others to cooperate with you financially so that you can develop the leverage you need to reach your goals.
Your ability to use financial leverage of all kinds will be determined by your ability to persuade other people to help you using their financial resources at the times when you need it the most.
The more power and influence that a person perceives that you have, whether real or not, the more likely it is that the person will be persuaded by you to do the things you want them to do. For example, if you appear to be a senior executive, or a wealthy person, people will be much more likely to help and serve you than they would be if you were perceived to be a lower level employee.
In everything you do involving other people, you are shaping and influencing their perceptions of you and your positioning in their minds. Think about how you could change the things you say and do so that people think about you in such a way that they are more open to your requests and to helping you achieve your goals.
When you treat people with kindness, courtesy, and respect, you make them want to do things for you. They are motivated to go out of their way to help you solve your problems and accomplish your goals. Being nice to other people satisfies one of the deepest of all subconscious needs, the need to feel important and respected. Whenever you convey this to another person in your conversation, your attitude and treatment of that person he or she will be wide open to being persuaded and influenced by you in almost anything you need.
You can become an expert at personal persuasion by always remembering that there are only two ways to get the things you want in life, you can do it all yourself, or you can get most of it done by others. Your ability to communicate, persuade, negotiate, influence, delegate, and interact effectively with other people will enable you to develop leverage using other people’s efforts, knowledge, and money. The development of your persuasion skills will enable you to become a powerful and influential person. It will open up doors for you in every area of your life.
Copyright©2005 by Joe Love and JLM & Associates, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide.