46 Jobs | 980000 Resumes

How to get people to do what you want (part 1)

If you can get people to do what you want, you will be successful in both your personal and business life. Simple. But how do you do it?

In our first article on the topic, we are going to look at some tricks; they are potent tricks, but ones you can use without being dishonest, but, perhaps, slightly manipulative.  

The next one will look at the art of negotiation, focusing specifically on Brexit.  

It doesn’t matter what your job is, what industry you work in, if you can master a handful of these, you can seriously boost your career prospects.

A picture is worth a thousand words.

Bear with me here. Two scientists from Dartmouth University, Brendan Nyhan and Jason Reifler had their following findings published in Forbes Magazine.

The researchers gave information that contradicted the worldview of the study participants — hoping to see what it’d take to persuade them to alter their opinions.

However, charts were extremely effective. You may not always have one, but the point is, that cold facts, even with personal connections (which they also tried) don’t always work. Sometimes a a visual presentation is what you need to sell your point. They don’t even need to be fancy; those used in the study were plain graphs and were effective because they spoke to the brain in its native language.


Make people feel good.

Dr. Robert Cialdini, author of “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion,” lists ‘liking’ someone as a major ‘weapon of influence.’ According to the American Psychological Association, when we have a good feeling about someone, we’re more likely to find them persuasive.

Well, that’s fairly obvious, but for someone who is socially inept or shy, but there are a few habits that you can get into in order to come across as more likeable.

Look the part

Would you buy something from a salesperson who’s slouching, fidgeting, and avoiding eye contact? Probably not. They might be the most honest person in the world, but it doesn’t matter if their body language projects a lack of confidence or even deceipt.

If you want to be persuasive, you have to brush up on some body language tips and start looking the part.

Repeat yourself

Repetition can be pretty annoying. Just watch Trump making a speech. In writing, it’s pointless. It’s just pointless. In conversations, it quickly becomes boring, but repetition definitely has its place in presentations, speeches and pitches.

Don’t whine

When you’re trying to present a convincing point, it can be difficult to strike a good balance. You don’t want to appear passive, but you also don’t want to come on too strong. John Brandon of Inc. writes that it’s probably better to air on the side of honesty and politeness:

“Some of the most miserable people I know have this attitude about persuasion that it’s all about cajoling others. You try to trick them — usually through a stern attitude or a demanding voice — to get what you want. It doesn’t really work, unless ‘what you what’ is the same as feeling miserable.”

Demonstrate your value

It is scarcity that makes gold, diamonds top employees so valuable and is one of Cialdini’s principles of persuasion. People tend to value what is rare and unusual. It can be tricky sometimes, but try to use that psychological quirk to frame and construct a convincing argument.

Have people do favours for you


Counterintuitively, people tend to like you more when they do things for you. It’s called the “Ben Franklin effect.” So if you can put yourself in a position where others do favours for you, that’s a good start. Franklin wrote: “He that has once done you a kindness will be more ready to do you another, than he whom you yourself have obliged. Alhtough, it is probably not a bad idea to start establishing a network of people that ‘owe you one.’

Tell a story

Humans are emotional creatures. Data and facts are crucial, but if you really want to be persuasive, you’ve got to appeal to emotion as well. This means finding a compelling way of conveying what’s on your mind. Whether you’re speaking with your boss, interviewing with a hiring manager, or even giving a presentation, you should always strive to tell a story.



Leave a comment:

©2015 ExecutiveSurf | +44 2077291837 | Lisvane Systems Ltd - Registered in England no. 5,078,818 - VAT registration no. GB 839 6754 71