By Pauline Shirley, Leaders
Persuasion is powerful. Whether you are interacting with a client,
a potential client, or a co-worker, you frequently communicate to
persuade someone to agree with you, to buy something, or to perform
an action. Being aware of the communication elements that persuade
or dissuade fires up your power of persuasion.
Words and actions either persuade or dissuade. Listening persuades
and seldom dissuades.
Listening skills are your first focus in order to be at your persuasive
best. Following are four steps in listening:
• Take notes as you listen to better track and follow the
• Be aware of jumping to conclusions too quickly.
• Wear the other person’s shoes” so you are listening
to what is being said, not what you want to hear.
• Listen to subtleties that give you insight to the speaker.
Listening requires limiting your own talking to asking questions
to clarify or to saying a few words that encourage additional information
from the speaker.
Words that encourage further information are simple words or phrases.
Yes; and then; I see; oh; tell me more about that; what do you think;
and what happened then? They keep the flow of information coming
and reveal details that help your persuasiveness later in the conversation.
After you listen and discover information that will help you accomplish
your goal, work on the words you use to persuade.
According to a Yale University study, there are twelve words that
people “listen to” more than others. They are: discovery,
easy, guarantee, health, love, money, new, proven, results, safety,
save and you. Add one more word for proven results. The name of
the person you are talking with. From the notes you have taken during
the listening phase, include any words that appear to be important
to the other person.
The next competency to be aware of is vocal. Your tone of voice,
rate of speech and volume are important elements in your ability
to sway someone’s opinion. A monotone voice can turn the listener
off. Speaking too fast is often perceived as rude, while speaking
too slow can be perceived as unprofessional. Talking too loud is
often construed as domineering and talking softly may be taken as
a sign of lack of confidence.
Whether you are looking for new clients or building relationships
with current clients, ignite persuasive power. Focus on your listening
skills, carefully select your words and craft your most effective
voice tone. All are valuable and effective communication skills
in any situation.
Pyrotechniques of Persuasion ? by Pauline Shirley, 2002. Pauline
Shirley presents, speaks and trains from rich leadership experiences.
She is president of Leaders On Fire of Richardson, Texas, whose
mission is to prepare emerging leaders for today, tomorrow and the
future. She may be reached at 972/644-6430,
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Copyright © MMV Pauline Shirley