Persuasion: n. getting agreement that a goal(s) is worth achieving
Before trying to persuade someone you have to assess who you want to persuade, about what, how you will persuade, and when you will attempt persuasion.
Whom do you want to persuade?
If you are in a position of authority over someone then you will have more success in persuading that person. If you are the boss with expertise then you may be very persuasive about job related issues but not necessarily in topics or opinions outside the job sphere.
If you are a parent authority figure then you will have a greater probability of persuading your offspring even though realistically you may occasionally have to use some coercion or the threat of punishment to get them to do what you want.
If you have expertise in a field or are in a position of authority then your relevant opinions will be more respected and your persuasive powers will be greater.
You will probably also be better able to persuade your spouse or close friend with whom you have an honest, sincere, and trusting relationship. Close associates who may admire and respect you will usually be more persuaded by you than if you try to persuade total strangers or casual friends.
If you use authority figure opinions or statistics which show that most humans believe or behave a certain way then you will be more persuasive because most humans generally respect authority and want to be accepted as part of the majority or don’t want to seem like loners.
What do you want to persuade about?
You must also realize that persuading one to change a strong religious, political, or sports belief or a strong opinion will be almost impossible and not worth the effort and it is much different if you are trying to persuade someone to buy information, goods, or services from you where a human may actually have a desire, need, want, or interest in what you are selling or offering.
Persuading your spouse to do something at home like taking out the garbage out on a regular basis, spending more time with offspring, or doing you a big favor is possible but you may have to do something in return to be persuasive enough.
If you are trying to persuade someone then assess whether the persuasion will lead to mutual benefit in some way. If you can demonstrate that you gain something more than just a boost to your ego and the human whom you are trying to persuade will gain something good by being persuaded then the probability of being persuasive goes up greatly.
Before you begin to persuade first ask whether there will be any benefits for one party or both if the persuasion is successful or goes through.
How will you will persuade?
If you compliment or boost someone’s ego and make them emotionally feel good first then you will have more success with your persuasive attempts.
If you first probe the possible responses or opinions of the one whom you are trying to persuade and listen carefully to what they have to say then you may put yourself in a better strategic position and be able to fine tune your persuasive attempts to the needs, desires, and wants of the human. After listening carefully to the initial responses or opinions you may decide that persuasion may be a waste of time.
If you are confident and communicate clearly and understandably then you will be more persuasive.
If you use real life examples in the human’s life or your own to try and prove your point then you will be more successful in persuading. If you can relay an interesting story which backs up your point of view then you will be more convincing in your persuasive attempts.
If you have documented facts then you will be more persuasive.
If you have thoroughly analyzed a problem or problems with the pros and cons and have plausible solutions to them backed up by facts then you should be more persuasive.
If you can demonstrate or show that something bad or terrible will happen if the human is not persuaded then you may be a more successful persuader.
Remember that threatening someone into doing something rather than persuading them will get results if you are in a position of authority but the human adult whom you are threatening into doing something may not be persuaded that it was the right thing to do and may resent your coercive action and their respect for you may decrease.
When should you persuade?
It should be obvious that if you are trying to persuade a human and they are too tired or too busy then you will have to pick another time to try and persuade. Also persuasion sometimes requires persistence and you may have to frequently try to persuade sometimes using a slightly different approach each time and the time that it may take before being successful may be a week, month, or even a year.
If there is a sense of urgency created in the one that you are trying to persuade then they are more likely to respond more quickly and affirmatively and this applies more to selling something to someone.
There are 13 ways of being more persuasive as shown in this great article which stresses the importance of emotional intelligence and it’s general principles.
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