Its possible these days that you can be the best at your job and have the most innovative ideas in a team, but unless you have the skill of persuasion the likelihood is that no one will listen to you or appreciate your talents in full.
In the workplace, being heard is a very important thing – getting yourself and your vision noticed can lead to promotions and career progression, but it can also help with improving and managing a team and becoming a successful leader too.
Being persuasive doesn't come naturally to everyone, and in some cases attempting to be persuasive can actually come across as being argumentative or aggressive when an individual is simply trying to portray their ideas.
Three things I have found have worked for me when trying to be persuasive at work, avoiding offence or alienating yourself to those you are ultimately trying to engage are:
1. Consider the needs/desires/wants of those you are trying to persuade up front.
Before rushing in to convince others of an idea or next business move, think about whether it’s something that really concerns them or that will interest them. If it’s not something that will benefit the person then no amount of persuasion will maintain their interest; be specific about who you are trying to persuade and choose those you approach carefully.
2. If it doesn't land with your audience, let it go. Don't keep banging the drum relentlessly.
Part of being persuasive also means accepting the fact that not everyone will be automatically sold on an idea, even if it does benefit them. Being persuasive takes work and you should not expect others to care too much about your needs – you are charming them, not the other way round. Accept that you may receive some criticisms or conflicting opinions and take them in your stride.
3. Make yourself approachable.
Seeing as you are in the process of charming them, it’s important to portray a positive and trustworthy image. Be open to ideas coming back to you, you aren't building a dictatorship after all. Try to build a strong sphere of influence with a friendly, optimistic and confident aura where people feel they can be open and honest about your ideas whilst free to share their own in return. Ultimately this will make persuading others of your ideas all the easier further down the line.