A Former FBI Agent Reveals the Secrets of Persuasion
“Persuasion is the art of convincing others to do what you want them to do because they want to, not because they are forced to. And it can be tapped using these simple techniques.
1. Spend time with the person. … The more time we spend with others, the more able we are to influence them. Time promotes trust. … If workers want to influence their colleagues, they should spend time with them. If you want someone who dislikes you to like you, spend time with them. Eventually, they will like you–or at worst, they will dislike you less.
2. Be likable. People tend to help people they like. Getting people to like you instantly is as easy as displaying an eyebrow flash, a head tilt, and a smile. … People are more likely to overlook mistakes, make exceptions to the rule, and go out of their way to accommodate people they like.
3. Change their minds before they say ‘No.’ No one can read minds, but you can come close by observing a person’s mouth. The lip purse is a slight puckering or rounding of the lips. Pursed lips mean the person you are talking to has formed a thought in their mind that is in opposition to what is being said or done. Knowing what a person thinks gives you an advantage. The trick is to change their mind before they have an opportunity to articulate their opposition. … If you see pursed lips, you will know what other people are thinking and can persuade them to change their minds before they say ‘No.’
4. Don’t stop at ‘You’re welcome.’ When thanked, most people respond, ‘You’re welcome.’ But to make your response more powerful, add, ‘I know you would do the same for me.’ This invokes the psychological principle of reciprocity. When people are given something tangible, or even something intangible such as a compliment, they are psychologically predisposed to give something in return. …
5. Add a sense of wonder. … If you need help with a task, seek out a person with that skill and during the course of your conversation simply muse, ‘I’m working on this project and I’m having some difficulty. I was wondering if you may have run into the same problem.’ An expert in the field will have difficulty not volunteering his or her expertise to show their mastery.”