Persuasion is a tool that is used in business on a daily basis. Although it is not an outright everyday practice— unless you are in sales or marketing— it is something that will be useful at some point or another in any career. Forbes contributor Jason Nazar highlights the basics, the general rules, and personal skills of persuasion:
1. Persuasion is not manipulation: Manipulation is coercion through force to get someone to do something that is not in their own interest. Persuasion is the art of getting people to do things that are in their own best interest that also benefit you.
2. Persuade the persuadable: Everyone can be persuaded, given the right timing and context, but not necessarily in the short term. Political campaigns focus their time and money on a small set of swing voters who decide elections. The first step of persuasion is always to identify those people that at a given time are persuadable to your point of view and focus your energy and attention on them.
3. Context and timing: The basics building blocks of persuasion are context and timing. Context creates a relative standard of what’s acceptable. For example the Stanford Prisoner Experiment proved that overachieving students could be molded into dictatorial prison guards. Timing dictates what we want from others and life. We chose to marry a different type of person than we date when we’re younger, because what we want changes.