Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
Persuasion and influence are leadership skills, but persuasion is not the same thing as an influence.
Convincing someone to do what you want them to do is persuasion.
On the other hand, influence is part of your identity. Influence is your presence. Influence is a part of who you are.
When you are being genuinely influential with people, you achieve a state known as a conversion rather than compliance.
In the Code of Influence, Paul Mascetta defines these states as:
“COMPLIANCE is when someone does what you want them to, but you haven’t necessarily affected their belief system. What you’ve affected is their thought process. In other words, you’ve gotten them to act in a way that they may not necessarily agree with deep down inside. They may comply because of outside factors like social norms or immense short-term rewards.”
“CONVERSION is much more powerful. Conversion is when you completely change someone’s belief system. When you can do that, they’ll fully buy into your message. When they fully buy into your message, they’ll follow you even without saying anything. You become more of a symbol for what they agree with and identify with. You, in essence, begin to share an identity with them.”
Leadership Skills and Conversion
When conversion happens, you’ll find you have a much greater ability to:
- Create healthier, more fulfilling relationships
- Make more money
- Have people agree with you
- Gain more overall control over your life
Persuasion is an essential part of influence. And persuasion is ultimately all about a result, which is otherwise known as getting your audience to do what you want them to do.
The result of compliance is often dependent on the relationship.
For example, persuading your friend to go to the restaurant of your choice can be very different from persuading your child to do their homework.
Here are 8 simple steps to persuasion:
1. Identify A Problem
All of our decisions are made to either avoid pain or gain pleasure. But statistically, people will do more to avoid pain than gain pleasure.
If you can identify a problem, or more importantly, a desire to avoid a problem by your target, you are well on your way to positioning yourself to persuade them.
2. Identify The Consequence Of The Problem
Once you, as the leader, have identified the unwanted issue in their life, you now show your target how not taking action to correct this issue will result in more pain.
Ultimately, you’re selling a solution. But sometimes you can’t do that unless the person knows that they have a problem. So the first step is to show them their problem.
3. Identify The Chosen Solution
Here, you have your target select the outcome they think will solve their problem.
The best way to do this is by asking questions like, “What do you think would fix this?” “What would be the ideal outcome for you?” or “What would you prefer?”
4. Identify The Consequences Of The Solution
It’s essential that your target accepts and understands every aspect of the new outcome and fully supports it. If they don’t, they will blame you when things don’t work out as planned (if that happens).
5. Check For Confirmation
Make sure that the chosen outcome is something that your target truly wants. It will not help if they are not truthful, either to themselves or with you.
Gaining compliance and gaining pacification are two different things. Make sure your target is not telling you what you want to hear just for the sake of not being combative.
6. Ensure The Solution Is Beneficial
It will never do you any good to provide quick-fix solutions or short-term answers to your target’s problems.
Make sure that any solution that you provide will provide long-lasting results. This will make them happy and lead to more opportunities for you to influence and do more business with them.
7. Reserve Judgment
If the target makes a suggestion or answers a question appropriately, don’t judge them. Everyone views the world differently, and sometimes, someone’s perception might be different than yours, which will make it hard for you to comprehend why they would have a certain opinion on a particular subject matter.
Invest the time and energy to understand your target’s values, beliefs, and outlooks on life. It will not only better equip you to persuade them, but they will take notice of the fact that you have invested in getting to know them.
8. Never Correct Your Target
Often, your target may make false, untrue, or downright incorrect statements. If you experience a situation where this happens, it’s never a good idea to tell them that they’re wrong or try to correct them.
When you do, their defense mechanisms automatically take effect. Then, instead of listening to you or becoming susceptible to persuasion, they are too busy defending their thoughts and points of view. This not only makes them difficult to persuade, but it also causes them to question their relationship with you.
How Do You Persuade and Influence?
If you have ideas that you feel like sharing that might be helpful to readers, share them in the comments section below. Thanks!
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