Persuade People to Take Action With These Simple Tips
Persuasion is the ultimate super power
Happy Saturday, fellow learner! 👋
Dread trying to persuade others?
Or hate when you believe that a certain project should be done (or cancelled) but can’t rally the support from your colleagues?
Much of work life is about persuading others:
Secure help from a colleague
Ask a barista to redo a cappuccino
Get a second date
It’s the ultimate superpower.
👇️ And persuasion is a science:
Actionable Tips For Persuasion
🤝 Build Trust (Rapidly)
Without trust, you have no influence.
Show how you’re trusted by others they also trust: Talk about how you spent quality time with their friends or family members (using the Halo effect)
Be attentive: Say happy birthday, remember their weekend plans and ask about them on Monday
Work on a common goal together. The shared effort makes others more committed to you (through the Ikea effect)
Show vulnerability, one step at a time. This opens the door for others to be vulnerable too, getting a virtuous loop going.
PS: Of course, listening is a must.
😎 Show Confidence (Here’s How)
We’re more persuaded by people who seem confident (this is the “confidence heuristic”).
I’ve written about confident (authoritative) body language here.
🎁 Offer Value In Two Ways
1) Think about what they value in the moment, and position your suggestion to fit their needs. Don’t frame it to fit what you value, but make it fit their worldview.
2) Help out your colleagues over time. We humans feel obliged to return favors.
🐶 Appeal To Herd Mentality
We look to others to determine what to do. It’s called social proof.
Mention who else supports your idea. If you’re suggesting a new way of working, highlight other companies that work that way.
⏳️ Inject Scarcity & Urgency (Especially If You’re Selling)
You know how online travel services show how many hotel rooms are left?
That creates both scarcity and urgency. We feel a fear of missing out. The same principle applies to other sales activities:
Raising money for a startup? Raise a smaller round (creates scarcity) and set deadlines (creates urgency)
Selling course enrollment? Limit the number of spots available. And offer a discount only for enrollments before a given date.
🥰 Lean Into Pathos
Aristotle taught us to appeal to ethos (our credibility), logos (reason), and pathos (emotion) for persuasive speeches.
At work, many of us forget about pathos — especially when using slides.
But if we’re not telling stories and appealing to emotion, we might as well use a spreadsheet or a written memo instead, says Seth Godin in The four elements of persuading with a deck.
Other Unrelated Cool Stuff I’ve Dug Up
🛑 The Chrome Extension BlockSite
I’ve been losing hours daily to checking email every ten minutes. Recently, I set up BlockSite to block email, news sites, and social sites, from midnight to 11am and from 1pm to 4pm, every day. It’s already helping.
💫 The article Average Manager vs. Great Manager — Explained in 10 sketches by Julie Zhuo
It’s fantastic. I promise.
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