The Simple Truth About Being Persuasive – It’s Not Rocket Science

19.07.2020 |

Episode #9 of the course Ten essential traits for today’s leaders by Frank McKinley


Welcome to Lesson Nine!

Last time we learned the power of positive believing. This time you’ll learn what it means to be a master persuader.


What Is Persuasion?

Persuasion is convincing someone to do or believe something—and take action.

If you know someone who seems to get their way all the time, it’s magical. Did you know you can, too? By the end of this lesson, you’ll have everything you need to get more of what you (and others) want.


What Is a Persuader?

If you dig into the root of the word persuade, you’ll find the word “advise.”

You may not be friends with your doctor, but you trust him because he’s got a diploma on his wall that proves he knows his stuff. He’s also got rooms with equipment that all doctor’s offices have. If he didn’t, you’d have second thoughts about listening to anything he says.

You’re there because you have a problem. You know there must be a solution, but you can’t find it yourself. So you turn to someone you trust for answers—and a cure. Be that expert.


The Point of Persuasion

The first part of the word persuasion means to bring “through to completion.” In marketing, you make a sale. In medicine, you cure someone or prescribe treatment that will cure them. At work, you achieve your goals with your team.

Persuasion is about completion. It’s about filling a gap. It’s bringing something into a reality that didn’t exist before. Ultimately, it’s connecting what you want with what other people want.

When that happens, everything is better.


The Persuaders Toolbox

People won’t be converted until they believe you. So how do you help someone believe?

Prove your point:

• Tell a story so they can see themselves doing it.

• Share data that relates to something they care about.

• Anticipate and answer objections as you make your case.

Salespeople know people want to buy, but don’t want to be sold. What does that mean? They want it to be their decision. They want to feel they have the power. So persuasion isn’t coercion, it’s leading someone where you want them to go. If they see it’s for their good, they’ll be easy to convince.

How do you appeal to a tough customer? Remember, we all want a few things: a sense of power, to know that we’re right, to raise or maintain our status, a scapegoat to blame for our problems, access to secret knowledge that others don’t have.

Wait, isn’t some of that selfish? It sure is.

If you can use people’s pride to move things in the right direction, you’ve got the most powerful lever in the universe.


Three Ways to Make People Like You

Since persuasion is leadership, it’s much easier to lead when people like you.

Here are three things you can do right now to endear yourself to your team:

Take a sincere interest in people. Don’t learn about them to manipulate them. Learn about them so you can leverage their strengths.

Discover their hopes and dreams. What’s important to them? How can you help them get what they want? How can you make it a win-win for them and the organization?

Lead them in the way they should go. This is every parent’s dream for their child. As a leader, your goal is to bring out the best in your team. Be the guide on their personal development journey and everyone wins.


Do This Now

What is the toughest thing you have to persuade people to do? How can you frame it so it benefits them?

One way to do this is to give someone a project to do. Tell them the result you want, but leave it to them to design the process. This gives you control over the outcome and lets them have autonomy about how to get there. When people take ownership of their work, they’ll dig deep to make it shine.

In our final lesson, we’ll look at the fine art of empathy and how it can help you solve any business problem you face. See you then!

Lead well,



Recommended book

Methods of Persuasion: How to Use Psychology to Influence Human Behavior by Nick Kolenda


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