Effective persuasion is a cornerstone of achieving organizational objectives, influencing key decisions and steering towards success. Whether you are making crucial hires, launching impactful campaigns, selecting vendors, or shaping your department's quarterly goals, the ability to communicate persuasively with diverse stakeholders is a skill that can elevate your career trajectory. Examining the strategies employed by some of the world's most influential leaders, it becomes evident that convincing different stakeholders at various junctures is a common thread in their success stories.
Here, we will delve into the art of impacting your organization through convincing communication. By exploring specific frameworks and essential steps, we aim to equip you with the tools to navigate your professional journey adeptly. Contrary to a self-centered approach, effective communication entails a holistic understanding of what resonates with your audience—considering not only your interests but also theirs and those of key stakeholders such as customers and the board.
As you embark on the journey of mastering persuasive communication, it is crucial to shift your focus from "what's in it for you" to a comprehensive exploration of the collective benefits. The following insights offer guidance on crafting communication that resonates in the workplace and maximizes your ability to convince and influence.
Identify your goals/concerns as a speaker writing or typing these down in a column, one by one. Concerns can involve a certain problem you want others to act on. Goals can be a call to action, like getting others to recycle more or hire more people for a project team.
Identify the concerns of the people you want to persuade. Your audience has specific needs and concerns of their own. These may not align with your own much, if at all. However, you can research to identify these as well.
Identify the area of shared understanding utilizing ethos, logos and pathos using the diagram below. Not every little piece of your argument will resonate with the same people. However, you can find an area of shared understanding. You should look at the two lists of concerns and identify potential matches.
4) Making a strong argument
You have to deliver a message that helps shape opinions. That’s no easy task, but you can do it by showing others how your solution fits their needs. You also need to employ elements like ethos, pathos and logos to support your argument.
Learn what your audience cares about, what they need, and define it. Then, you can start to acknowledge those needs through your persuasive tactics. Your presentation should bring clarity to your audience. It should show that your goal is the same as theirs. When that proves to be true, and when it’s supported well, people will listen.
To master persuasive communication in work, explore the ASU CareerCatalyst course, Public Speaking and Presentations.