Leading Change Effectively


Persuasion is about getting people to say yes. Persuasion is a vital leadership activity to enable you to achieve your full potential and accelerate business results.

Here are 15 tips and techniques to enhance your ability to persuade the people around you:

  1. Step out of your shoes. Spend time anticipating what another will say and how you will respond to his/her objections instead of rehearsing your own story.
  2. Accommodate other personality types. Develop self-awareness of your own personality type and adapt your communication style to another’s personality type.
  3. Establish peer level communication. Avoid over-use of position power. Treat another as an equal. His or her time is just as important as yours. Learn about what’s important to him or her.
  4. Use Peer Pressure. Be specific about the peer group. Get the evidence.
  5. Listen more than you speak (80-20 rule). Ask questions. Listen for objections, perspectives and ideal outcomes.
  6. Stop Telling People What to Do. Ask questions. Provide feedback. Delegate.
  7. Narrow the resistance. Clarify the objections and discuss potential next steps.
  8. Agree with objections and focus on benefits. Don’t defend against resistance.
  9. Appeal to another’s self-interest. Logic makes people think. Emotion makes people act.
  10. Shift another’s perspective. Ask another, “Just for a moment, what if we looked at the situation from my shoes? Or from Joe’s shoes?
  11.  Ask for permission. Use phrases like “May I ask you?” “Would you be willing to?” “May I play devil’s advocate?”
  12. Minimize ego-talk and avoid. Being judgmental, Looking good, Being right and making others wrong, Control freak and/or avoiding control, Blame game, Defensiveness, Stonewall, Contempt/Sarcasm
  13. Master Your Emotions. Be aware of positive and negative emotions. Move your body and shift your perspective. Ask “What else could this mean?”
  14. Demonstrate credibility. Be an Exemplar. Share experiences and walk the talk.
  15. Be Externally Focused. Identify your top 20 list. Build relationships of trust and candour. Create a sense of urgency.

Adapted from the forthcoming book: The Talent Advantage: How to Attract and Retain the Best and the Brightest by coauthors Dr. Alan Weiss and Dr. Nancy MacKay, published by Wiley.