Persuasion is a topic that everyone thinks they know about. However, it is quite a complex area of psychology. It involves culture, biology, language and a host of other variables. Getting someone to do what you want him to do requires a spark of his desire to think or act a certain way. So how do you ignite a person’s motivation? Here are five ways to change a person’s mind.
What is Persuasion? According to Richard M. Perloff, author of The Dynamics if Persuasion: Communication and Attitudes in the 21st Century, “Persuasion is a symbolic process in which communicators try to convince other people to change attitudes or behavior…transmission of a message…in an atmosphere of free choice.”
Strive for Brevity William Shakespeare said, “Brevity is the soul of wit.” Succinctness is key in persuasive communication. When you try to persuade the persuader about a topic, you may feel like you need to present a dissertation detailing the reasons why Plan A is better than Plan B.
But a short message is more effective. Too many details can be confusing. It ultimately detract from your primary goal. So choose your words carefully.
Also, use nouns instead of verbs to appeal to his sense of belonging to a group.
Example: “Are you a parent (noun)?” versus “Do you have (verb) kids?” “I am a shoe fanatic” versus “I like to buy shoes.”
Emphasize the Benefits When you employ persuasion, your first response might be to explain why it’s important to you. But this emotional reaction usually prompts the obvious question: “What’s in it for me?,” he asks.
So speak in terms of the recipient of your message. For example, instead of saying,” I need you to come to work on Saturday” say, “If you come to work on Saturday, it will give you enough time to review the document, finish the artwork and send it to the printer.”
Remember, a benefit is different from a feature. So don’t focus on the fact that the suede shoes are imported, but how the Italian designer makes high quality shoes for women who want style and comfort.
Be Quiet With access to information available 24/7, people are tech savvy, independent thinkers. When they seek additional information, it’s usually to confirm their initial choice.
No one likes a hard sale. So once you have educated the persuadee about relevant facts, stop talking.
Silence is powerful. It can be a time for reflection. It can demonstrate respect. It can also make the other person feel compelled to divulge more information.
Use Body Language Body language has been proven to be a tool for persuasion. The International Journal of Scholarly Academic Intellectual Diversity published “Louder than Words” by Fred C. Lunenburg. The article stated, “Aspects of speech including pitch, volume and love…may communicate confidence, nervousness,anger or enthusiasm.”
Be mindful of the way you stand, how much you touch another person, the clothes you wear and your place at formal meetings.
Employ Social Validity We all want to be a part of a group. This desire starts in our childhood and follows us throughout our life. Studies have shown that a person is highly influenced by the actions of other people in a group.
So create a sense of inclusive. If you want someone to buy an item, tell him how many people have already purchased the item.
The act of persuasion is a step-by-step process. It is not a competition but a way to help people make good choices and enrich their lives.