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One of the key abilities that every successful leader needs to possess is persuasion. When it comes to their organization, for instance, leaders need to be able to persuade their staff members to work together, achieve more than they believe they can, and to put their interests aside in favour of the group’s.

To put it a different way, persuasion is about changing people’s minds. If a leader isn’t able to change someone’s mind about any particular topic, that person hasn’t been persuaded. It’s that simple. So, a leader’s primary purpose is to change minds and push their followers to make new decisions.

And one of the easiest ways to persuade a person or a group of people is by getting them involved and willing to participate. In the end, persuasion is a highly emotional construct. By engaging people’s senses and by involving them physically and mentally, you can create the perfect environment for persuasion.

The end goal is to move your audience one step closer to taking action. As such, you will need to decrease that distance and get people closer to your objective. Below are the key steps that will help you achieve this.

Increase Their Participation

As a general rule, people will support what they help create. So, the more individuals will take an active role and get involved, the more open to persuasion they will become. You will have a higher success involving your audience in the solution, by giving them the option to participate in the discussion. When they feel that it was their choice and their solution, they will take ownership of both. In other words, people will start persuading themselves.

One excellent tool to use here is questions. Nothing drives a conversation forward like a well-placed question. They will create mental involvement, which will not only guide the conversation forward but also tells you what the prospect needs.

Recommended: Asking the Right Questions Under the Right Circumstances

As many of us know, there is more than one type of question. Leading questions, for instance, alter the way we interpret facts and influence what we remember from an interaction. Open-ended questions, on the other hand, are great for when you’re probing for information. Such a question, however, cannot and should not be answered with a yes or a no. Instead of asking something like “Do you wish you had made a different decision?,” ask, “How did your decision make you feel?”

Nothing drives a conversation forward like a well-placed question.

Creating an Optimal Atmosphere

The general atmosphere in which the discussion takes place also plays a significant role in your success. Keep in mind that the so-called atmosphere, in this context, is nothing more than the state of mind you create. Are people relaxed, or do they feel rushed? Is there tension in the air? What kind of atmosphere do you want to create? Do you want a quick decision, or do you want your audience to feel comfortable and linger around?

You should engage as many of the five senses of your audience as you can. As these are used by every one of us to interpret the world around us, involving these senses will help you create the atmosphere you want. Besides, they also help in learning. When we learn, 75% is visual, 13% is through hearing, while the remaining 12% is via smell, taste, and touch.

Discover the best way to improve your persuasion skills consistently by connecting with your leadership team and turn them into highly engaged employees. Call me for some complimentary advice. Book an appointment at or call me at +1 (604) 943-0800.

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Inscape Consulting Group
Greg Nichvalodoff, BSc. BM (Honors), MBA, PCC, CMC
Office: 604.943.0800
Mobile: 604.831.4734