Being more persuasive with authority figures is not as hard as it sounds. Just because they may be your boss or someone technically above you in the food chain, doesn’t mean that you can’t effectively get them to follow your lead. Persuasion is an art form, and one that can work on anyone, including your superiors.
The reason why persuasion is such an important leadership skill is that influential people can make things happen. They are the ones that move things forward, and cause others to believe because of what they say. In fact, when you can talk to someone like that, they are more apt to be of greater faith in your cause. There are a couple of things that you can do to bolster your skills at persuasion in order to be more effective leaders.
The first thing you need to ask yourself is if there is an element of doubt in your discussion with your boss. You wouldn’t want to barge in and tell someone that they’re wrong, regardless of how compelling you are. What you want is for them to be skeptical, and appreciate your opinion more so than they do now. Once you’ve accomplished this, everything is in flow.
The second thing you need is to be prepared. At any given point during the conversation, you want to take mental notes of what you’re hearing. It doesn’t show off, but it does show that you are putting yourself at the top of the charts. If you’re going to try to persuade your boss to want to do business with you, you want to make sure that you’ve already prepared yourself for those questions. And if the boss is skeptical, make sure you’ve been paying close attention to other pieces of the argument as well. Look for any weak points that your boss may be taking out of context in order to compromise with you later on.
The third skill that you need to succeed in your conversation is empathy. Empathy is simply understanding what other people’s experience is, however, you’re not going to be able to understand it unless you’ve been willing to take some time to honestly hear them out. You’re going to want to listen to them and let them talk about their struggles. Then you’re going to have to try to relate to them as much as possible. If you do this, they are far more likely to trust you and hang in there.
An important aspect that you should always put into good use is your body language. Since we all know that position and posture matter, having good body language is an absolute must. This doesn’t mean you need to be always able to mimic what someone is doing for their body language. All it means is that you need to stay aware of how you present yourself, and when you are using certain complementary signals that you can compatible use with.
Persuasion can be very difficult sometimes, and the basis of even harder conversations is human nature. However, since you’ve read this far, you’ll recognize that there aren’t many techniques that will help to make people trust you more. Even with all of the persuasion experts out there, people get perception by their facial expressions and body language when speaking or doing certain things. Therefore, even though they may sound phony, people will generally feel that you are genuine and that you are trustworthy. A good approach to persuasion is to use these persuasion techniques to draw out their trust in you and in what you’re saying.