Let's be honest, it takes more than knowledge, position, and popularity at work to convince people to see things your way. It takes the power of persuasion.
If you want to succeed, you have to be able to persuade and influence others. It doesn't matter how smart and skilled you are--if you don't know how to persuade and influence others, you will eventually become irrelevant. People will overlook your ideas and stop listening when you speak.
You don't need to be the boss to be persuasive. Getting results depends not so much on your position, but on your ability to garner support from others and being able to persuade others to buy into your way of thinking.
Indeed, persuasiveness in the workplace--and in life--is such a coveted skill that people read books, take courses, and attend speaking classes to get it.
Here's a quick guide on how to be more persuasive at work:
1. Be considerate and listen to others
Being persuasive doesn't mean that you have to be a dictator. Being considerate and listening to other people's ideas means trying to understand where others are coming from.
That, in turn, makes them like you, and relate to you more. They will be more likely to consider your ideas instead of putting up a defensive wall.
2. Be supportive to others
Don't just listen to other people--be supportive, and give them the chance that someone else gave you. Validate others' ideas, give credit where it's due, share the success with others, and recommend others for positions as well. They will be more likely to pay it forward for support towards your ideas.
Don't just focus on your own goals. Make the time for the goals of others, too.
3. Be credible
Build your credibility through expertise. You have the proper training for what you do, so keep up on your certification if necessary, stay up-to-date on new courses, and make connections with others in the know. You need to prove yourself knowledgeable through your work so you can be trusted to make good decisions.
Use compelling evidence. Back up all of your assertions with proof, which you will get through research and credible sources. Have citations for all written proposals and be prepared to provide statistics.
Connect with others on emotional levels. Facts are great, but they aren't the be-all-end-all in many cases. Persuasive people show their own emotional commitments to the positions they advocate, and can also relate to others and their arguments.
4. Be willing to compromise
Don't be entirely unbending and dictatorial. Often, people want to know that plans are flexible enough to respond to concerns before they allow themselves to be persuaded.
When collaborations happen, and several minds contribute to make a plan better, the result can be vastly better than the original proposal that the persuader was trying to pitch.
Compromises can lead to better, more sustainable, shared solutions. Understanding the role that communication, listening, and skills play in the workplace will make you a more persuasive leader.
Do you have a project or goal coming up that could use the help of a team? Use these tips to grow your group of business acquaintances to help you get the job done.