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How To Be Totally Persuasive, But Not At All Sleazy

Stashed in: Networking, Leadership!, Influence!, Listen!, Empathy, Awesome, Psychology!, Selling!, Pitching, Hey Girl, Reaction GIFs!, HumanNature, Relationships, Trust, Selling

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Basically, remember the words of Vanilla Ice.

Alright STOP. Collaborate and LISTEN:

As sales expert Kevin Daum notes at Inc., super persuasive people listen in three stages:

  • To see how receptive you are to their ideas
  • To attend to -- and start to solve -- your objections
  • To find "moments of agreement," which can grow into co-investment

But to do that, you need to keep your mouth shut.

Understand their point of view.

As Dan Dennett, Fast Company'sfavorite controversial American philosopher, would say, you need to put their "position so clearly, vividly, and fairly that your target says: 'Thanks, I wish I'd thought of putting it that way.'"

Get empathic.

So by focusing your attention on the persuadee, listening raptly, restating their position, and then showing the way that your goals intersect, persuasion makes a charming turn into co-investment. But what's the skill underlying all those stages?Empathy.

And empathy, as leadership coach Ginny Whitelaw once shared with us, is the most powerful leadership tool. Why? Because:

(With empathy), we can sense what’s in her interests, and influence becomes a matter of showing how our idea connects with those interests. That doesn’t mean she will always agree with us or do what we want, but it does mean that our thoughts and actions are now coming from a larger place: one that accords both our interests and hers.

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