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How do I persuade others?

Persuading others requires you to do 3 things:

  1. be clear on the outcome you are seeking
  2. jump into their world
  3. present your “case” in a compelling and engaging way

And here is how…

The 5P’s of Persuasion help you structure your persuasive argument in way which makes it so compelling that your audience can’t help but agree with you!

What you are aiming to do is to build your case on evidence and an objective point of view, which talks your audience’s language and engages them from the start.

Here is how it works:

Position

State the current situation.  Keep it factual and objective, avoid giving your personal opinion here.

“Over the last 6 months, the average number of hours worked in this office is 50 hours per week”

Problem

Describe why the current situation is a problem.  Make it a problem for your audience.  That way they feel the pain and are more motivated to change.

“The impact of that is that people are tired and becoming disengaged as they feel they are not being recognised or valued for their extra effort.  This is resulting in some people demonstrating a lower level of performance and making some mistakes.” (You could quote a specific example here).

“If this continues we are going to put ourselves in danger of losing good people and missing key opportunities with our customers”.

Possibilities

Outline all of the possibilities to solve the problem.  Remember, doing nothing is still an option, so make sure you include that.

“There are a few things we could do to deal with this situation:

  1. encourage everyone to leave the office at 5.30pm to ensure they have enough time off
  2. re-allocate some of people’s work so that they do not have so much on their plate
  3. do nothing, and hope for the best!
  4. introduce flexible working so that people can take back those extra hours at a time that suits them”

Proof

Aim to “prove” your option is the most viable, appropriate, effective solution by “disproving” each of the other options.

“I believe it will be virtually impossible to get people to leave at 5.30pm because they have so much to do.  I also realise that re-allocating work is unrealistic.  We can’t do nothing as we will be seen to be encouraging “burn out”!  It, therefore, seems that the flexible working option is the most sensible”.

Proposal

Finish by summarising what you have said and why that makes your proposal the best option.

“So, we clearly have a workforce who is becoming disengaged and feels undervalued which is something we really need to address sooner rather than later.  The most feasible option is to allow people to be more flexible with their hours so that they can decide when to put the hours in can also have the choice about when they take those hours back, therefore making them feel more empowered and valued by the organisation.  Doesn’t that make sense?”

Remember, keep your audience in mind and present your argument in a way which is important, interesting and relevant to them.

Good luck!

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