In business the most vital skill is communication. In a setting where ideas are the business, it is imperative to be able to communicate those ideas effectively. The most important part of communication is the persuasive message. Communication is defined as a process by which we give and express meaning in an effort to create shared understanding. This process requires a huge range of skills in intrapersonal and interpersonal processing, speaking, listening, questioning, analyzing, observing, and evaluating. Use of these processes is developmental and transfers to all areas of life: home, school, community, work, and beyond. It is through communication that teamwork and cooperation occur.
What is Persuasive Communication?
Communication that is persuasive is directed toward changing or altering another person’s beliefs, attitudes, and, ultimately behaviors. Generally speaking, attitudes of a listening audience are composed of three components; cognitive, affective, and behavioral. Cognitive attitudes are the way the audience or listener perceives information. The affective attitude is what the audience is feeling, like or dislike, toward the information. And the behavioral attitude is how the audience reacts to the given information. Persuasive communication allows for the opportunity for positive change through the successful conveyance of a good idea. Persuasive communication opens up options, and has the possibility to connect people at a different level. And persuasive communication allows us to communicate our beliefs, while convincing others of our goals.
Persuasive Communication Comprises of Four Distinct and Necessary Steps
1. Establish your credibility
Credibility comes from know-how and relationships. People are measured for high levels of expertise if they have a history of good judgment or have proven they are knowledgeable as well as informed about their proposals. They have established over time that they listen and work in the best interests of others.
2. Structure your goals in a way that identifies common ground with those you intend to persuade. It is processes of identifying benefits to the people you are trying to persuade. If no shared advantages are readily apparent, it is better to adjust your position until you find a shared advantage. The best persuaders closely study the issues that matter to their colleagues. They use meetings, conversations, and other forms of channels of communication to collect essential information. They test their ideas with trusted contacts and question the people they will later be persuading. Often this causes them to change or compromise their own plans before they even start persuading. It is through this attentive, curious approach they develop frames that appeal to their audience.
3. Reinforce your positions using dramatic language and convincing evidence. Persuasive people supplement data with examples, metaphors, analogies and stories, to make their positions. Dramatic word pictures lend a compelling and quality to the persuader’s point of view.
4. Connect emotionally with your audience.
Although we like to believe decision-makers use reason to make their own decisions, we will always find emotions at plays key role in making choices. Good persuaders are aware of emotions and are open to them in two important ways. Firstly, they show their own emotional dedication to the position they are advocating. Secondly, they have an accurate and strong sense of their audience’s emotional state, and they alter their tone and the intensity of their opinion accordingly.
Avoid the four big errors of persuasion
1. Attempting to make your case with an up-front hard sell. Setting out a tough position at the outset actually gives potential opponents something to fight against. It’s far better not to give opponents a clear...