3 ways to "trick" people into doing what you want

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(MoneyWatch) It doesn't have to be Halloween to want to trick your co-workers, clients and even boss into doing things your way -- and with good reason.

"The ability to use all-win negotiation skills is essential to influencing people and facilitating constructive, positive relationships," said Vickie Henson, director of product development at Dale Carnegie Training, a leadership training firm with courses in over 80 countries. At the very least, leading in a way so people will follow makes your daily life a heck of a lot easier, and will make you stand out (in a good way). Here are some tips that will help you do just that.

Prepare carefully. Before you try to convert people to your way of thinking, gather information and find out why they feel the way they do. In order to do this, Henson suggests holding a fact-finding meeting before you get into the nuts and bolts of trying to change minds.

"Explore all parties' interests, concerns, options and consequences of each alternative. Know the non-negotiable and negotiable items," Henson said. Once you have this information, step into their shoes so you'll know what their concerns will be and how you will alleviate them. "The best way to plan and prepare for the negotiation is to prepare the other person's case as if it were your own," she said.

Be persuasive. The best way to convince people to do as you say is to figure out "what's in it for them" and focus your pitch on how your idea will address those priorities. "Appealing to the other parties' interests and motives by providing evidence of ways to save time, save money and improve quality provides benefits or value to the other party," Hensen said. If it makes sense for the particular situation, provide hard facts, figures and stats -- PowerPoint presentation optional. Seeing the concept in black and white (or color!) may be all people need to sign on.

Know when to walk away. Before you set foot into any negotiation, you need to know exactly when you want to walk away. "In other words, define the point at which there is no need to proceed with the negotiation," Hensen said. That doesn't mean that you will stop all discussion at that point -- you may simply shelve the negotiation temporarily or change your tactic. Just having that number in mind will help you come off as more confident and certain in how you present your case.

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    Amy Levin-Epstein is a freelance writer who has been published in dozens of magazines (including Glamour, Self and Redbook), websites (including AOLHealth.com, Babble.com and Details.com) and newspapers (including The New York Post and the Boston Globe). To read more of her writing, visit AmyLevinEpstein.com.

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