Secrets of Persuasion – 5 Unique Secrets to Influence

How often do you find your children aren’t hearing you? How many times has discussing projects with your colleagues left you frustrated and disappointed?

Don’t you wish it was easier to communicate so that people would listen?

The ability to influence others is an invaluable asset.

For example, while being the leader of a project team or a work group, you need to communicate effectively to your teammates to help channel your individual efforts.

In times of conflict, it will be your ability to influence that will compel the team to converge to the direction you find most suitable instead of diverging in all directions.

In the position of being a team leader, you need to influence your subordinates to assist, cooperate, or perform without friction. As a parent, persuading your children with words to obey you and to behave is important so that you don’t need to resort to violence to discipline them.

As you see, whether working in teams or in dynamics of superiority-inferiority, the ability to influence always comes in handy. It gets the job done without aggressive opposition or conflict.

Working with over 10,000 of clients from around the world and documenting their difficulties with communication and persuasion, I have found that Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP)  is the ideal modality for influencing people.

Through NLP, you learn how to gauge what people want and what people expect from you, after which you may speak in programs that they appreciate, so as to gain their favor. In this manner, you may negotiate with them in ways of speaking that they can engage with, thus making it easy for you to push forth your agenda and get what you want.

As part of NLP, here are 4 simple secrets of influence that I have compiled. You can employ in your daily life to ensure you are as persuasive as needed.

Here are my 4 Secrets of Influencing:

1. Notice what you love about the other person.

Recognise the good and valuable qualities of the other person. Holding negative feelings towards the person you want to influence can hinder how you interact with them. The negative energy you hold on to will radiate and affect the way communication occurs between the two of you.

We live in a culture where at times openly complimenting another is rare, even awkward. We often don’t know how to react when people are openly appreciative of us. When trying to influence, this awkwardness must be suspended.

This may not always be easy.

Sometimes, the person you’re talking to may come across as unreasonable, aggravating and enraging you. In times like these, you must, against all odds, find something to love about them.

For example, if a salesman is being particularly pushy, instead of thinking “Wow! They’re really getting on my nerves!” think “Wow! They’re quite determined about their targets!” Notice their greatness and they will appreciate this. This will make them want to go out of their way to help you.

Say, if a parent, a sibling, or a spouse is behaving uncooperative, remind yourself of the indestructible place they hold in your heart.

Thus, before beginning negotiations, become actively aware of the qualities in the individual that you appreciate and keep them in mind while persuading them. You will find that not only are you able to get through to them more effectively but also that they are more receptive to your suggestions.

During a Breakthrough Coaching with NLP training I had conducted, I showed participants a video of a mother who had become so enraged that she was radiating her anger to the rest of her family. Her 3 children look frightened and her husband leaves the room altogether. I noticed that some participants had already started the judging the mother.

I asked them what they would say to influence her. Sure enough, their answers implied their disapproval of her. Thus, their ideas to influence her were ineffective.

The first step is to suspend all judgment and notice what you love about the person. The participants eventually mastered this, and began to appreciate her saying:

  • I love that she is so passionate
  • It seems that she really cares about her mission and purpose
  • She can freely express herself

2. Build a Rapport and Trust

“People like people like people.” Being the odd one out seldom helps to be part of the group. We build connections with people with whom we can identify. In large groups of diverse ethnicities, you will find those who look, speak, and dress like one another often hang out amongst each other. Birds of a feather flock together.

A real skill, which I love teaching during Breakthrough Coaching with NLP, is to build rapport in an authentic and genuine manner rather than a staged and stochastic way. This occurs naturally in our daily lives when speaking to a person with whom we have a connection. Our body language and tonality automatically adjust to their’s and we match and mirror.

If during a conversation you notice you are hitting a dead end, come back to matching and mirroring the person’s body language and tonality. But make sure this is subtle and not comically theatrical!

3. Understand What They Want

 Understand what the other person wants. You cannot negotiate without an idea of the other side’s agenda. Moreover, you cannot counter an argument until you yourself are thorough with it.

Politicians use this on us all the time. They figure what the public wants and mold their speeches accordingly.

Thus, figure out what the opposite person needs and use your words accordingly. For example, while selling a fan, if you realise the customer is conscious of their reputation, you would talk about how your company makes the most beautiful fans that make any house look festive. “Your guests’ jaws will drop to the floor, Madam!” In catering to her requirements, you make her believe that you are not neglecting but keeping her interests in mind.

4. Get On Their Wavelength – Visual, Auditory, Auditory-Digital, Or Kinaesthetic

  •  Some people have a visual preference – they process information through images, pictures, and other visual cues. They make decisions based on how things look.
  • Others have an auditory preference – they are sensitive to sounds and notice noise or silence. They make decisions based on how things sound.
  • Others are kinesthetic learners – they are sensitive how things feel on the inside and outside and are the kind of people that will want to try things.
  • Others are auditory digital – they have a preference for facts, figures, numbers, and can be analytical and engage with self-talk.

Through NLP, you learn how to pick up on what kind of learner the person you are speaking with is. With this knowledge, you may mold your communication to their understanding to better influence them.

For example, if your employer has an auditory preference you would frame sentences to the tune of “How does this idea sound?” instead of “How does this idea look?” or “How does this idea feel?”

Using the another person’s preferred mode of communication, you will direct their attention towards your material, which increases your chances of influencing their decision.

5. Listen Before Speaking

There’s a reason we have 2 ears and 1 mouth – so that we may hear twice as much as we speak. A good listener listens in 5 stages:

  • Receiving – accept the words the person is offering you;
  • Understanding – absorb the meaning of their words;
  • Evaluating – view the meaning of their words in the context of the situation and gauge what they are trying to say, even nonverbally;
  • Remembering – think about how their words affect your stance on the situation;
  • Responding – think of what you’d like the opposite person to know and understand the situation and your take on it.

I love how, during Breakthrough Coaching with NLP, there is an emphasis not only active listening but intuitive listening. Listening beyond what is being spoken – the words, thoughts, and emotions beneath the surface communications. On mastering these skills our coaches find they have access to a wealth of unspoken communication that accelerates their results with their clients.

So in conclusion,  the next time you need to influence someone – getting your partner to take you away on holiday, getting your children to tidy up their bedroom, getting your colleagues to heed your idea.

Pause. Think.

Notice what you love about them,

Build a rapport,

Understand their needs,

Get on their wavelength, and

Listen to them.

Follow these 5 easy steps and find yourself influencing the situations in your life, relationships, and work!

Love Dr Rangana Rupavi Choudhuri (PhD) with Ashni Acharya

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