The ability to influence and persuade others affects all aspects of your life—from your personal relationships with friends and family members to how your coworkers perceive you. The Center for Creative Leadership states that there are three main types of influence tactics—logical appeals, emotional appeals, and cooperative appeals. Part of successful persuasion is determining which appeal will work best for the specific goal you are trying to achieve.
In business, persuasion often takes the form of presenting ideas to clients, team members, or upper management. If you’re looking to improve your workplace communication techniques, consider focusing on persuasion and influence.
Why Are Persuasion Skills Important for Employees?
Learning how to persuade others is a valuable skill for employees in any industry. In fact, in 2020, LinkedIn named persuasion as the one of the most in-demand soft skills for companies—it was ranked second, right after creativity.
When you improve your persuasion skills, you’ll be able to boost company performance, facilitate change and advance within your career.
Strong persuasion skills can help you better perform your job. If you work in a sales role, you may be called upon to persuade clients to purchase a certain product or service. Additionally, persuasion can be used to encourage and motivate your team members, supporting the overall success of the company.
Enable Organizational Change
Companies can be reluctant to change their processes, especially if they have been operating the same way for years. With the right approach, you can convince upper management to listen to your ideas and ultimately embrace change that could have a long-lasting effect on the company. Persuasion skills give you the confidence you need to have your opinions heard.
Move Up the Career Ladder
Your aptitude for influencing and persuading others will not go unnoticed by your managers. Companies benefit from having employees who are strong communicators, and chances are you will be rewarded for your efforts if you take the time to improve your persuasion skills. Furthermore, when it comes time for a performance review, persuasion can help you confidently make your case for why you deserve a salary increase.
Examples of Persuasion in the Workplace
Wondering how persuasion might come up in your day-to-day work? Here are a few examples of common situations in which effectively and clearly communicating your opinions could be beneficial.
If you work in a role where you interact with prospective customers or clients, persuasion tactics could help you close the deal. As your prospects weigh their options, it’s up to you to present your product as the solution they’re looking for. This can be achieved by narrowing in on the customer’s specific needs and personalizing your argument accordingly.
Preparing for a Large Meeting
Getting ready for a meeting is easier when you’re confident in your ability to persuade others and present your ideas. It’s common to clamp up when speaking in front of large groups, but with the right preparation, you can rest assured that you’ll be able to convey your thoughts clearly. With learning and development training, such as change management courses, you’ll learn how to tailor your presentation for specific crowds.
Pitching Ideas to Upper Management
Imagine you have a great new idea for improving your company’s onboarding process or streamlining the way in which your team compiles reports. If your idea involves significant change, you might need to pitch this to upper management in order to get approval. Sometimes, this will involve speaking to top executives that you don’t interact with on a daily basis. To influence these individuals, you’ll need to display the advantages of your idea and how it could benefit the company at large.
Strong persuasion skills translate to strong leadership skills. If you’re a manager, persuasion can help you align with your team members and encourage them to perform well. For example, if you have a team member who is not following best practices when it comes to documenting their work, you can demonstrate how thorough documentation helps the company stay organized, and how this can make the employee’s job easier in the long run.
Improve Your Persuasion Skills With Wharton Online
Having your voice heard within your organization is crucial for advancing in your career as well as having your company grow. In many cases, enhancing your persuasion and influence skills is key to inspiring others to change.
If you’re ready to learn more about how you can enact positive change at your workplace, check out Wharton Online’s Removing Barriers to Change in Organizations online course. This four-week, 100% online course is designed to teach you how to convey the value of new ideas to your organization. Request more information today to take the next step towards developing your persuasion skills.