Persuasion is a vital leadership activity to hold people accountable without playing the blame game. Persuasion is about getting things done through others (Yes! By Robert Cialdini).

Here are six strategies to enhance your ability to persuade the people around you.

  1. Liking. People like people who like them. The two key factors that increase liking are similarities and praise. People are likely to buy from people just like them. Praise traits, attitudes, performance.
  2. Reciprocity. People repay in kind. Give what you want to receive. Model the behaviour you want to see in others. “I know you would do the same for me.” Let people know that reciprocity is occurring (e.g., flexible work arrangements) .
  3. Peer Pressure. People follow the lead of similar others. They rely on others on how to think, feel and act. Persuasion is more effective when it comes from peers versus bosses.
  4. Consistency. People want to appear consistent with their commitments. Make commitments written, public and voluntary. Specificity speeds up results. Use a shared experience and coaching approach versus advice giving to be more persuasive.
  5. Authority. People defer to experts (e.g., awards, diplomas, certificates). Don’t assume your expertise is self-evident. Share experiences.
  6. Scarcity. People want more of what they can have less of (e.g., board information, time scarcity, limited supply, one-of-a-kind). Highlight unique benefits and exclusive information. Create as sense of urgency (e.g., 90-day plans). Loss language is more persuasive than gain language (e.g., lose money versus save money).

Adapted from the 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.