Last Updated Dec 6, 2007 6:39 PM EST
Harvard Business suggests you can learn to be a better persuader by applying six principles:
1. Liking: People like those like them, who like them.
- Create early bonds with new peers, bosses, and direct reports by informally discovering common interests--you'll establish goodwill and trustworthiness. Praise: Charm and disarm. Make positive remarks about others--you'll generate more willing compliance.
- Give what you want to receive. Lend a staff member to a colleague who needs help; you'll get his help later.
- Use peer power to influence horizontally, not vertically; e.g., ask an esteemed "old timer" to support your new initiative if other veterans resist.
- Make others' commitments active, public, and voluntary. If you supervise an employee who should submit reports on time, get that understanding in writing (a memo); make the commitment public (note colleagues' agreement with the memo); and link the commitment to the employee's values (the impact of timely reports on team spirit).
- Don't assume your expertise is self-evident. Instead, establish your expertise before doing business with new colleagues or partners; e.g., in conversations before an important meeting, describe how you solved a problem similar to the one on the agenda.
- Use exclusive information to persuade. Influence and rivet key players' attention by saying, for example: "--Just got this information today. It won't be distributed until next week."
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(Power, Influence, and Persuasion image courtesy of .nele, cc 2.0)