Take Five Minutes Before a Communication to Increase Your Success
I think we’ve turned “persuasion” into a dirty word.
We associate it with that mythical used car salesman. The person who tries to pressure you into doing what he/she/they want. By using scarcity (“This deal is only available today”). By implying you’d be stupid to say no (“This is where the smart money is going”). By suggesting you’ll suffer from regret (“You’ll be kicking yourself tomorrow for not taking action today”).
We don’t want to be seen as “that guy.” So we define persuasion as something bad and shy away from any hint that we’d do this.
That’s why you’ll notice more people talk about “influence” instead. This word doesn’t have all the negative baggage associated with persuasion, and it seems to be more gentle and ethical.
I believe all communication is about persuasion. It starts with persuading others to listen to what we say; read what we write; watch what we record. And that’s before we even get to the content of the ideas we want to share with them.
Consider letting go of your judgmental definition of persuasion and adopting mine:
Persuasion is presenting your perspective in a way that people can see it, hear it and feel it—then make a good decision about whether they should do what you recommend.
That means persuasion is not about manipulating, controlling or tricking people. It’s also not about getting everyone to say “yes” to you. (Admit it: there are times when they shouldn’t.)
It’s truly a way to 1) connect with others and 2) show what’s in it for them if they do what you suggest. Who couldn’t use more of that—on the giving and receiving end?