Art of Persuasion

What is Persuasion?

Persuasion may be defined as an effort to influence the attitudes, feelings, or beliefs of others, or to influence actions based on those attitudes, feelings, or beliefs. Persuasion is an important objective of communication.

Buyers have often to be persuaded to buy a particular article available with the seller in place of the one they actually wanted to buy. In the office of the factory, the lazy, the incompetent and the disgruntled workers have to be persuaded to do their work.

Human nature is not amenable to coercion or repression. Whenever force is applied to command a particular action, it breeds resentment and indignation. It is better to use persuasion than compulsion. But even persuasion seeks to change beliefs and attitudes, which people do not like at all.

So in order to be successful, persuasion has to be indirect and suggestive. The buyers and the workers should be so manipulated that they change their minds without getting conscious of the change, or if they are conscious, they believe that the change is to their advantage. Persuasion is an art, which has to be learned with great care.

Below that we will study the art of persuasion in detail.


Art of Persuasion

Let’s Discuss the art of persuasion given below:

  1. Persuasion needs conviction on your part. You should be genuinely convinced that the alternative course of action suggested by you is in the interest of the organization as well as in the receiver’s interest. You must not try to persuade others from a purely selfish motive.

  2. Do not impose yourself on the receiver of your communication. Do not overwhelm him with arguments. Give indirect hints and subtle suggestions. Gently channel his thinking in such a way that he adopts the point of view or the course of action suggested by you as if he had arrived at it as a result of his own thinking.

  3. If the other person is docile and has a flexible mind, he will be easily persuaded. But if he is headstrong, a self-opinionated person, try to meet him halfway. Concede a few points to him in the beginning. Then gradually bring him round on the other points.

  4. Bring yourself to the level of the other person. Try to look at the issue from his point of view and mold your arguments accordingly. Of the numerous arguments available to you, select those that may have special appeal to him.

Methods of Persuasion

The art of persuasion consists of four important steps:

  1. Analyzing Situation
  2. Preparing Receiver
  3. Delivering Message
  4. Prompting Action

Analyzing Situation

This is the preparatory step. The communicator analyses the situation to find out why the need for persuasion has arisen and what will be the advantages and disadvantages of the new course of action being suggested. He also studies the psychology of the man to be persuaded in order to plan a suitable strategy.

Preparing Receiver

It is but natural that people resent being persuaded to change their views or behavior. The receiver has to be prepared for it. This can be done by putting him in a pleasant frame of mind. He may be complimented on some of his outstanding qualities and achievements.

An appeal may be made to his adaptability and open-mindedness. The points on which the communicator agrees with him may be mentioned first so that a kind of meeting ground for the communicator and the receiver is prepared. It is also necessary that the communicator discusses the whole issue from the receiver’s point of view.

Delivering Message

The third step is to deliver the message. The message should be delivered stage by stage, with the help of forceful arguments, beginning with those parts of the message, which are easier to accept, and delaying the unpleasant parts as much as possible.

Prompting Action

Prompting action is but a logical consummation of the first three steps. If the first steps have been taken carefully, the receiver of the message will be easily persuaded to adopt a different course of action (or hold a different view).


FAQ Related to Art of Persuasion

What is the meaning of art of persuasion?

Persuasion may be defined as an effort to influence the attitudes, feelings, or beliefs of others, or to influence actions based on those attitudes, feelings, or beliefs. Persuasion is an important objective of communication.

What are the methods of persuasion?

Following are the methods of persuasion:
1. Analyzing Situation
2. Preparing Receiver
3. Delivering Message
4. Prompting Action.