You guys may know that I’m a big fan of soft skills. Not that I have no interest in hard skills (they are definitely necessary), but soft skills strike a special chord with me.


Today I’ll be talking about the art of persuasion. I’ve been reading a ton of books on persuasion, and the most recent one, Instant Persuasion, inspired me to write this post.


Persuasion is a pretty abstract topic, but there are concrete structures to persuading people. I’ll outline the steps below.


Firstly, you have to know that everyone has a least a bit of motivation. Let’s take smoking as an example. No matter how much a smoker likes his cigarettes, there will a bit of motivation to quit. It’s just that the enjoyment of the cigarette outweighs the motivation to quit.


Hence, what you should do is help the person identify the motivation, and acknowledge its existence. Once this is done, you have to expand the motivation. Focus and it and bring it out of the person. 


In the book Instant Persuasion, this is done by asking the person to rate the motivation level between 1-10, with 10 being the most motivated. If the person gives a low score of 3, for example, then ask the the person why didn’t he/she give a lower number. This is the question that throws people off guard. By highlighting the fact that the individual gave a higher number than say, 2, you actually highlight the motivation and make it larger.


Once you and the person you want to persuade has identified the motivation, the next step would be to help the person imagine the positive outcomes associated with it. This can be done by asking the positive outcomes. Remember to ask many whys to get to the root of the motivation.


Then, ask why the positive outcomes are important to the person. This is the clincher, the part where an individual identifies at a personal level why he/she wants to be persuaded. Try to persevere with the whys to get the person to speak from the heart.


The motivation has to come from the person himself/herself. Remember to keep using autonomy reinforcing statements, like ‘you always have a choice,’ or ‘the choice is yours to make’ to help the person along with the eventual decision.


Always remember to adapt to the situation. And only use your persuasion skills for good. You can even use it on yourself! 


If you guys would like to get the book, Instant Persuasion, you can get it here – it comes with a 6 step method for persuading people in 7 minutes or less.



About The Author

Hi, I'm Royce! I founded Mighty.Sg, an internet marketing company. I specialize in Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Social Media Marketing, and Reputation Management. Oh, and I'm a student at Singapore Management University. Enjoy your visit here!

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