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Communicating as a Leader

Use Communication Techniques to Persuade People to your Way of Thinking

Fact Publisher asked:

If you have been reading our previous articles you will understand by now that the power of controlling your communication techniques is indivisible from the power to control your life.

As we have stated previously, if you do not control your own life, surely, someone else will! Control of any situation depends on influencing others to think along the same lines as you think. This helps to lead us to a position of success, and if we can glean anything from the reasons for success, then we must acknowledge that influential people succeed and non-influential people do not. In this, there are only two choices: either influence others to your way of thinking or be influenced by others to their way of thinking.

Please remember by “success” we don’t mean owning an expensive car and a multi-million dollar home. We use the term “success” to mean the positive conclusion to goal setting. So if your goal is to raise a contented, accomplished, socially adjusted family and you achieve that goal, then you have been successful in that goal. If your goal is to write a popular novel which gains you financial freedom, and you achieve that goal then you have been successful.

There are a few fundamental steps that are necessary when incorporating the techniques of influential communication in your daily activities. Use result-focused thinking. This approach requires that you recognize the needs of others; determine how to resolve those needs and then guide your audience towards your way of thinking by providing having your audience come to believe that your audience will benefit by accepting your suggestions. People don’t mind so much change itself; but the balk at being made to change without understanding the process.

Discover what your audience values. When you discover the criteria by which your audience makes a decision, then you will have the foundations on which to build your persuasive arguments. If we assume that everybody thinks alike we will find it difficult to have a high success ratio. Each of us has his or her own needs and values to fulfill, listening carefully to the way people think and the words that they prefer to use, we can determine with a high degree of accuracy, what words and phrases will influence them.

Establish rapport. We have mentioned rapport in past articles. Rapport is building understanding and demonstrating that you understand. To do this, within the timeframe that we usually have with a friend or customer, we can do this with words and phrases, not only of our own choice, but by choosing the words and phrases that our audience has used themselves. Building rapport will eventually lead your audience to like you. (Believe it or not, it is rare that people will like you as a friend immediately upon meeting you. They may like some things about you, but it takes time to build real friendships.)

Powerful words are arbitrary in meaning, that is there is no direct relationship to the word and what it describes. And in many cases, one word can vary in interpretation even in a small community. But some words we use, overcome this problem. One of the easiest ways to influence a person is by using and repeating their name. But be careful, the use of a person’s name must be accomplished judiciously. Don’t over do it or it will become ingenuous and irritating. But we all generally like to hear our own name. Try not to use Mr. or Mrs. and the last name of your audience. It doesn’t work. Another couple of powerful words are, “please” and “thank you”. Sounds simple enough, right? These words, as we have learned since childhood, carry a lot of influence. We learned that if we want something, we would be more likely to get it, if we said “please”. And once receiving something, we were taught to say “thank you”. These phrases and their impact have universally positive impact in any language.

Finally, the use of words like “might” and “maybe” are very persuasive words. They are positively suggestive in their context and seemingly offer people a choice when pointing out the obvious. For example, “you might want to consider adding this package to your purchase before the prices go up.” “Maybe after you give it some thought you will have some more questions that I can help you with.” Giving people choices is a friendly gesture and people like to seal with people they consider to be friendly.

Persuading others through communication techniques is both an art and a science. Many confuse the term “persuasion” with the term “manipulation” and give the activity a sinister connotation. Persuasive techniques, when used with the interest of both parties in mind, are a widely used social activity condoned by both speaker and listener alike. If we want something and are interested in obtaining it, we want to be persuaded that we are considering the right choice. Manipulation, on the other hand, involves shrewd or devious influence over another, especially for one’s own advantage. Keep the two activities apart.

Design your messages (whether, written, verbal or non-verbal) to be persuasive and your success ratio will skyrocket. Success can be yours.

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