A huge part of leadership communication is knowing how to successfully employ results-oriented communication that will consistently influence others like decision makers and team players. To lead with inspiration, conquer sales objections, and win approval for your ideas, you have to connect in such a way that doing what YOU want becomes what THEY want. Do that and you’ll persuade senior decision makers to support your initiatives, get stakeholders to fund your projects, and successfully sell to your clients. Such high-level persuasiveness is rare. But for those who possess this valuable skill the doors to opportunity swing wide open – all the way to the top levels of responsibility, executive power, and lucrative compensation. So let’s take a look at some key components, best practices, and priceless secrets of persuasive communication.
Persuasion vs. Manipulation
Manipulation is coercion. It doesn’t give the person you’re dealing with free choice – instead it relies on trickery or force. Persuasion is a whole different animal that convinces others to accept your point of view and embrace your ideas because they realize – by how you communicate – that saying “yes!” is in their own best interest.
Use Your Emotional IQ
To persuade people, you have to bring energy to your communications and connect on an emotional level to engage and inspire others. Learn to coordinate and align your body language, cadence, and choice of words to create rapport. Then people will automatically be more receptive to you.
Preparedness is Vital
Do your background preparation so you come to the table – or the podium – with an insightful understanding of what motivates your audience. Don’t just make assumptions. Verify through inquiry and active listening.
Synch Your Message with Their Goals
Ask probing questions and listen to their concerns. Your purpose has to be to understand what kinds of relevant solutions they want. Then you can present your ideas within a framework of their own goals.
Make Them Want
You can lead a horse to water but until it’s thirsty it will not drink.
Persuasive communication is about enlightening your audience around what THEY want, not what you want – and then giving it to them.
Don’t try to cold call. First figure out how to create the thirst for what you have to offer. Then they will warm to you and want to be persuaded.
How? First do the background work to made them “predictably persuadable.” Figure out what it is about whatever you are offering that will benefit them, so you can clearly articulate those points of mutual interest and value.
Yes, persuasive communication involves a complexity of issues and the alignment of multiple types of core competencies. But if you can persuade people to your way of thinking you will quickly rise to the level of an extraordinary, high-performance leader.
Start incorporating these concepts and tips into your communications. You may be amazed at how much more effective you are at persuading others – because you are basically leading them in a way that they, ultimately, persuade themselves to totally agree with you!