By Jason Nazar
How is it that certain people are so incredibly persuasive? Can we all harness those persuasion skills? After studying the most influential political, social, business and religious leaders, and trying countless techniques out myself, these are the critical lessons I’ve identified to persuading people.
Persuasion: Personal Skills
It’s the person with the most flexibility, not necessarily the most power, who’s in control. Children are often so persuasive because they’re willing to go through a litany of behaviors to get what they want (pouting, crying, bargaining, pleading, charming), while parents are stuck with the single response of “No.” The larger your repertoire of behaviors, the more persuasive you’ll be.
Learn to Transfer Energy
Some people drain us of our energy, while others infuse us with it. The most persuasive people know how to transfer their energy to others, to motivate and invigorate them. Sometimes it’s as straightforward as eye contact, physical touch, laughter, excitement in verbal responses, or even just active listening.
Communicating Clearly is Key
If you can’t explain your concept or point of view to an 8th grader, such that they could explain it with sufficient clarity to another adult, it’s too complicated. The art of persuasion lies in simplifying something down to its core, and communicating to others what they really care about.
Being Prepared Gives you the Advantage
Your starting point should always be to know more about the people and situations around you. Meticulous preparation allows for effective persuasion. For example, you dramatically improve your odds in a job interview being completely versed in the company’s products, services, and background.
Detach and Stay Calm in Conflict
Nobody is more effective when they are “On Tilt.” In situations of heightened emotion, you’ll always have the most leverage by staying calm, detached and unemotional. In conflict, people turn to those in control of their emotions, and trust them in those moments to lead them.
Use Anger Purposefully
Most people are uncomfortable with conflict. If you’re willing to escalate a situation to a heightened level of tension and conflict, in many cases others will back down. Use this sparingly, and don’t do it from an emotional place or due to a loss of self-control. But do remember, you can use anger purposefully for your advantage.
Confidence and Certainty
There is no quality as compelling, intoxicating and attractive as certainty. It is the person who has an unbridled sense of certainty that will always be able to persuade others. If you really believe in what you do, you will always be able to persuade others to do what’s right for them, while getting what you want in return.