Posts Tagged ‘Business communication’

If you want to convince, you also have to speak AGAINST your case

February 26, 2012

If you want to persuade someone to do what you want, also speak openly about the alternatives – maybe the opposite of what you desire.

Say you’re asking your boss to fund a major project you’ve been working on. You want his approval badly. Otherwise months of work are for nothing.

The temptation is to concentrate single-mindedly on the reasons why he should approve. It goes against the grain to talk down your own case.

But you have to. Evoke the possibility that the project would be taken no further – to save money or avoid the risk of failure. Talk about other projects which could be given priority.

If you don’t bring these negatives up, he certainly will. He may wait until the end, and throw you on to the back foot with a torrent of objections. You’ll have lost the initiative.

Talking openly about the alternatives shows you are open-minded, not just selfishly playing to your own interests. It shows you can be realistic and objective. It gives you the opportunity to anticipate objections and deal with them in your own way.

It’s tough to speak about unpalatable alternatives openly, but once you’ve spilled them out, you can move on to the powerful reasons why your way is right after all. It’ll sound more convincing.

Good luck.

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To communicate effectively, first analyse your audience

February 19, 2012

Here are a few tips how to communicate effectively so that you convince someone to do what you want. The audience may be one person – your boss for example – or a whole group.

Before you start, analyse who you are talking to:

• What do they expect?
• What do they hope?
• What do they fear?
• What are their prejudices?
• Are they aggressive, indecisive, tricky, helpful?

Then use your analysis in preparing what you’re going to say:

• Anticipate objections
• Satisfy hopes
• Take prejudices into account
• Bring out helpfulness
• Make it easy for them to decide

If you do all this, you may make them feel they have actually decided themselves. It’s great to have your boss lecturing you to do what you’d been aiming at all along.


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