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If you treat an individual as he is, he will stay as he is; but if you treat him as if he were what he ought to be and could be, he will become what he ought to be and could be.Goethe

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The keys to persuasion

The keys to persuasion

Managers must be able to persuade others every day. To do this effectively, they must learn to adapt their persuasion strategy to individual decision-making styles.


Psychologists have shown that, 90 percent of the time, people reflexively reject attempts to convince them to change their minds. As a result, most persuasion strategies fail miserably!

Yet, persuasion is a key management tool to engage subordinates, convince a boss to give his blessing to a decision, negotiate additional resources, obtain support for a project, etc. Managers must persuade people every day in some form or another!

The selected publications warn us that, although resistance to persuasion is a recurrent obstacle, many failed attempts can actually be explained primarily by unsuitable strategies. To avoid this trap:

– Be aware of and avoid the most common persuasion strategy traps, e.g. expecting too much from logical arguments, not putting yourself in the other guy’s shoes, etc.

– First and foremost, identify the decision-making style of those you are addressing.

– Then adapt your persuasion approach step by step. Establishing your credibility, choosing your arguments carefully, appealing to emotions, etc. can only work effectively if you can adapt to those you are addressing.

Synopsis n.171b