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The Power of Persuasion
Presentation based on the research by
Communication Author Allan Pease
The CEO Magazine - July 2013
Prepared by Sukanya Patwardhan/sukanya.Patwardhan@gmail.com
While many executives equate the act of
persuasion with manipulation or
deception, experts are reclaiming the
importance of ethical persuasion.
You must first understand the drivers of the person, group,
or organization that you are attempting to influence
By understanding the individual’s drivers, you will know
focus your efforts on appealing to their sense of
1) the right thing
their desire to
2) want to do what you asking
3) defuse the negative sentiment of have to
Dr Cialdini’s six universal Principles of Persuasion
We prefer to say yes to those we know and like.
We give back to those who have given to us first.
When we are not sure of what we should do, we look to the behaviour of others
When we are not sure of what we should do, we look to the knowledge and wisdom of a recognised
We are intrinsically motivated by the commitments we make.
we are also motivated by what we stand to Lose.
One of the greatest tools to boost your persuasive skills is to
If people see you are listening to them, you have a greater chance of
discovering what you need to persuade them.
All too often, people attempt to persuade others from a point of
logic or reason.
for example, if you have researched the problem or have the
technical knowhow to get the job done, you tend drown others in
facts, figures, or irrelevant details.
If the influenced person is coming from an emotionally invested
position, you need to understand this because you will fail every
time if you counter their emotion with your logic.
Pick up the cues that demonstrate the other person is engaged,
listen to them, and ask good questions to elicit their motivation.
If there are any deviations from this, notice the cluster of behavior
that tells you that a ‘cold button’ has just been triggered and
Like any skill, building your persuasive capabilities involves
Mirror other person’s body language and what they’re saying
and doing creates a persuasive rapport very quickly,
Mirror whatever posture or gestures they use. This will make
them feel at ease and ready to listen to what you have to
say because they subconsciously see themselves reflected in
While this may seem forced, we simply need to practise.
When you first start to use these types of skills, you will
often feel self-conscious or awkward and think that others
are aware of what you are doing.
Speakers who show their palms in an upward position when
talking are more believable, more trusted, and more fondly
Those who talk with their palms down are perceived as more
authoritative and pushier, and listeners recall less of what
Those who point their fingers evoke the least recall from the
listener and are remembered with the least fondness.
Other people are so intent on creating their own impression that
they are consciously unaware of your changed body-language
By practising each skill every day for 14 days, they will become an
integral part of who you are and you will no longer need to
consciously think about them.
When dealing with people who are vehemently opposed to an idea, listen to
what they have to say and engage them in a positive discussion.
Just like a bomb technician defuses a bomb, you need to look at the issue,
the context, and the individual drivers before you start cutting wires.
Provide them with an opportunity to give their perspective, validate their
opinion, provide input, and then explain your perspective. If you listen to
them, invite them to have a say, and treat them with respect, you will get
the same in return.
The foundation of respect, empathy and
engagement lies at the heart of persuasion and
separates the mere manipulators from the
successful, productive persuaders