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Episode #31: How to Communicate to Positively Persuade and Influence Others

This episode is part of the Career Advancement Series that has been curated to help you become an exceptional communicator.

In this episode, How To Communicate To Positively Persuade and Influence Others –  you’ll learn: 

  • Tips for building alliances with others
  • How to make an unforgettable first impression
  • 5 Steps to follow to respond to any question successfully
  • Negotiation strategies for getting agreement without giving in

Tips for Building Alliances at Work

Let’s start with learning some important tips for building alliances with others. It’s wise to build alliances with other groups or departments in the workplace because this will help you strengthen your relationships at work and open the door for new opportunities. Keep in mind that the common goal in communication is a mutual exchange of ideas. You don’t need to know a person well to share that common goal. When building alliances with others it’s important for you to be open to finding common ground.

There are 4 reasons we enter into conversations. We also get into conversations for different reasons at different times and in different settings.

4 main reasons we enter into conversations:

  1. To get information and learn from the person we’re talking to.
  2. To build our contacts through connecting and networking with the person on a business level.
  3. For a friendship to get to know more about someone on a personal level, as well as to build a solid foundation for business networking.
  4. For convenience, as there are times when we need someone to talk to 1:1 or at a gathering.

Tips for Building Alliances with Groups

With that said, consider the following 8 tips for building alliances with other groups or departments:

  1. Understand what building an alliance can do for you, your group, the other group, and the organization as a whole.
  2. Listen carefully to the struggles of the other group.
  3. Network for support from the other group.
  4. Seek to collaborate cross-functionally when you can.
  5. Support the other group’s leader.
  6. Become visible to top management.
  7. Seek to know the goals and the values of the group.
  8. Use time outside the office wisely to build rapport with others.

Have you used any of these tips to help your relationship become more solid?

If so, note which ones have you used? And Which are difficult for you?

Set the Stage for Success

To best prepare yourself and correctly “set the stage” for interacting with another department or group consider the following questions:

  • Why are you building this alliance?
  • What do you really want from this interaction?
  • What is the purpose of it?
  • How do I want it to go?

How to Make an Unforgettable First Impression

Whether you’re networking, in an interview, or in a business meeting, a good first impression opens you up to new opportunities. People create impressions very quickly and it’s difficult to change a negative first impression. Therefore, the first impression should be unforgettably positive.

Many times first impressions just – don’t seem fair because even though the first glance doesn’t give you an accurate portrait of the real, complex person, people often judge by those fleeting impressions. No matter what your physical attributes or wardrobe limitations, make the most of your opportunity to make a positive first impression.

Here are some tips on how to do just that:

  • Start the conversation on the same note you want it to end on, whether in a business or an informal setting.
  • Be interesting and interested in the person or people you are with.
  • Greet others with confidence. Even if you feel nervous, you can act confidently by having an open body posture, eye contact, clarity in tone and volume when speaking.
  • Be attentive by offering a warm smile and being fully present with whom you’re speaking. A warm smile is welcome in any setting and paying a little bit of attention to a person goes a long way.
  • Consider what you can carry or wear that makes you unique and notable. This will help you stand out and be remembered.
  • Be open, calm, confident, present, courteous, and attentive first, because how you listen is as important as what you say.

Often times we can get tongue-tied or go blank when asked a question on the spot, even if it’s a question we know the answer to – such as, what do you like to do for fun?

Clear and Assertive Communication

Clear and assertive communication helps you express your thoughts with clarity and validity. Communication skills enable you to think on your feet and express your point of view effectively. When you’re put on the spot, it can be challenging to assert yourself.

5 key steps to help you think on your feet when challenged and assert yourself effectively:

  1. Listen carefully and pay close attention to what is being said.
  2. Pause to organize your thoughts.
  3. Repeat the question to avoid misinterpretation.
  4. Give just one main response.
  5. Take your time and be mindful not to end on an excuse or become defensive.

There are several other factors that I’d like you to keep in mind that will put power and confidence in your communication.

  • Use “I” statements to take full accountability and responsibility for your experience and how you feel, rather than cast the blame on others.
  • Keep responses clear and concise.
  • Slow down verbally.
  • Monitor your tone of voice.
  • Be aware of your nonverbal messages.
  • Use active listening techniques.
  • Maintain eye contact.
  • Use emotional intelligence.

Emotional Intelligence

A critical component of effective leadership attributed to Daniel Goleman’s best-seller of “Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ” defines Emotional Intelligence or EI as the capacity to recognize our own feelings and those of others for motivating and managing emotions in ourselves and in our relationships.

Emotional Intelligence consists of these 5 attributes:

  1. Self-Awareness: Having the ability to recognize your emotional triggers and often to explore and embrace why you have these emotional triggers. Self Awareness is also about being able to fully acknowledge and embrace your strengths, weaknesses, and values and know what drives or motivates you.
  2. Self-Management or Self-Regulation: This is about having better control of your disruptive emotions and the ability to change circumstances. The ability to keep your cool, stay calm and positive in order to communicate more effectively with others in tough situations.
  3. Empathy: Is the ability to identify with or understand the perspective, experiences, or motivations of another individual and be able to comprehend and share another individual’s emotional state.
  4. Relationship Management: This is the importance of having a rapport with others in the workplace. Relationship management is essential for making authentic connections and managing distractions so that you can be more productive and less stressed.
  5. Effective Communication: Effective communication is 7% of the words we say and 90% tone and body language. Failing to communicate effectively in a workplace, leads to frustration, bitterness, and confusion among employees. Learning the skills to communicate effectively can eliminate obstacles and encourage stronger workplace relationships.

Keep in mind that your Emotional Intelligence is flexible and can always be improved because you can train your brain. Your intelligence (IQ) gets you the interview your emotional intelligence (EIQ) gets you promoted.

Researchers and business experts agree that people with high emotional intelligence are consistently top performers in their organizations. Leadership success is only 7% intellect, the rest results from trust, integrity, authenticity, honesty, creativity, presence, and resilience.

Negotiation Strategies

Let’s move on to looking at some negotiation strategies for getting an agreement without giving in. Many of us work with different and diverse people who also have different and diverse points of view. When negotiating effectively, we must learn how to come to a consensus and also disagree without disrespecting another person.

Knowing how to negotiate will help you establish respectful relationships and give you the best likelihood of getting what you want or getting the other person to understand and accept your point of view.

Here are some key strategies to help you negotiate successfully.

Allow others to have a different point of view. It’s often easier to get through negotiation by truly understanding the interests of the other party. Ask as many times as needed to ensure that you’re clear about what they are asking for. Stephen Covey states in his work: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, “Seek first to listen to the other side and really understand it.”

You can encourage and support the other person is sharing their point of view by saying, “That’s one way… or that’s an interesting way of looking at it…or hmm I hadn’t thought about it from that point of view.”

Next you want to state your own situation or point of view. Share how you see it and calmly and clearly state your situation. You might say something like, “Here’s my situation…” and you calmly clearly state your situation and emphasize the differences and or similarities to theirs.

Collaborate and find a win-win solution. You want to make a suggestion or an alternative action or if possible suggest several options AND compromise if you can’t find a collaborative solution. You might say, “Could we try…or I would appreciate it if you would…or How about looking at it this way?”

Keep in mind that whether it’s getting an adversary to see your point of view or winning support from someone up the ladder of control, separating positions from interests can often lead to win-win solutions. It’s very common to only hear the position the other party states. Underlying the position is thinking or reasons call interests. It’s often easier to get through negotiation by truly understanding the interests of the other party.

This concludes the Career Advancement Series!

Listen to the full series

If you would like to explore any of these topics further and receive additional support and coaching, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me by sending an email to support@teenaevert.com