DefinitionPersuasion is a process aimed at changing a person's beliefs, attitudes, intentions, motivations or behaviours. In other words, persuasion is a communicative process of altering the beliefs, attitudes, intentions or behaviors of another by the conscious and unconscious use of words and non-verbal messages (Ilardo,1981). Persuasion is the ability to induce beliefs and values in other people by influencing their thoughts and actions through specific strategies. The skills of persuasion,negotiation and influencing are mind changing skills. Mastering of persuasion skills takes time, effort and a great deal of practice. Understanding persuasion skills is the key to becoming an effective advocate, lawyer, politician and a sales person.
4-step approach to strategic persuasion(Richard Shell and Mario Moussa, 2007)
- Survey your situation - goals and challenges
- Confront the 5 barriers - relationships, credibility, communication mismatches, belief systems and interests and needs.
- Make your pitch - your communication skills.
- Secure your commitment and consistency.
Laws of persuasion
Law of reciprocity -When someone gives you something of perceived value, you immediately respond with the desire of give something back.
Law of contrast -When two items are relatively different from each other, we will see them as more different, if placed close together in time or space.
Law of friends - When someone asks you to do something and you perceive that person to have your best interests in mind, and/or you would like him to have your best interests in mind, you are strongly motivated to fulfil the request.
Inspiring quotes on persuasion
"Character may almost be called the most effective means of persuasion." -Aristotle.
"Persuasion is often more effectual than force." -Aesop.
"Persuasion is the conscience of mind." -Nicolas Chamfort.
"Influence is the compass. Persuasion is the map." -Joseph Wong.
"The most important persuasion tool you have in your entire arsenal is integrity." -Zig Zigler.
"Not brute force but only persuasion and faith are the kings of the world." -Thomas Carlyle.