How To Develop Persuasiveness Skills in the Workplace

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published October 18, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

No matter which industry you work in, being able to persuade your colleagues, clients, or employers helps you take control of your career. Having persuasion skills helps you to convince those around you that something you want to get or make happen is the right course of action. Understanding the art of persuasion is key to influencing others, presenting convincing arguments, and motivating others to act. In this article, we define persuasiveness skills, list the skills, provide tips on how to use them, and explain how to improve your ability to persuade people.

What are persuasiveness skills?

Persuasiveness skills are the interpersonal tools you can use to convince someone to agree with you on a subject, or do something you want them to. You may use skills of persuasion in the workplace to sell products, negotiate business deals, or arrange plans that suit your needs. Persuasive staff also expedite group decisions by leading thought processes and directing their colleagues. Persuasion is a soft skill that benefits employees and managers alike.

List of persuasion skills

There are many ways that you can incorporate persuasion skills into your workplace interactions. Some of these skills benefit those who use them in daily interactions with colleagues, while others help in negotiation scenarios. Here's a list of persuasion skills you can develop in your workplace:

Communication

Communication is a foundational element of persuasion skills, as being able to communicate helps the transmission of thoughts, ideas, and information. Becoming good at persuading others starts with building on communication skills. Communication can also be nonverbal, using body language and gestures to connect with others. Being able to communicate effectively means sharing ideas in a way that engages and appeals, making people feel more open to being persuaded.

Related: How To Make Effective Employment Counteroffers

Emotional intelligence

Being persuasive in negotiations or discussions requires you to be receptive to the situation and the people you're talking to. Having emotional intelligence means being able to interpret the emotions of those around you, which is a crucial part of connecting with and persuading them. Being able to understand what someone is thinking or feeling helps you to adjust your methods of persuasion to suit them.

For instance, if you're trying to convince a colleague to cover your shift but they're visibly disinterested in taking on the extra responsibility, your emotional intelligence can help you navigate this negotiation. It's helpful not only to be able to read their disinterested body language, but also to notice what interests them and generates a positive reaction. You might mention how they could benefit from taking the extra shift, such as getting paid more, impressing the manager, or earning a favour. If you read a positive response to any of these suggestions, that can help you persuade them.

Active listening

Part of being receptive in order to become more persuasive is having strong active listening skills. If you listen closely to others' goals and concerns, you can try to mitigate those concerns to get the result you both want. Active listening also helps to build trust between you and the person you're trying to convince, which makes them more susceptible to persuasion.

Logic and reasoning

The most effective way to build persuasive arguments and reinforce your point of view is by using logic and reasoning. Facts help to quickly convince people and directly prove your point. For instance, if you're a sales representative trying to convince your boss that you deserve a raise, backing your request up with sales data that shows your success in the role can be highly persuasive.

Related: How To Negotiate Salary (With Examples)

Interpersonal skills

Interpersonal skills are your ability to have meaningful exchanges with the people around you. Effective persuasion is far easier for those who don't hesitate to start conversations or build rapport in the workplace. Maintaining genuine conversation with your workmates and managers means they're more likely to agree with you when you attempt to persuade them.

Negotiation

Negotiation is a major element of effective persuasion. Being able to negotiate means finding a solution that benefits both parties. In some scenarios, people may be unwilling to cooperate unless there's a direct benefit to them. When this happens, you can negotiate by offering something that appeals to them in return to make the situation mutually beneficial. This skill can require practice but is a major asset when you're trying to persuade a stubborn coworker or client.

Tips for using persuasion skills

Using persuasion skills is simple if you practice interpersonal techniques in your daily interactions. Building your workplace relationships can be an effective way to improve your ability to persuade people. Here are a few helpful tips for using persuasion skills when you need them:

Build trust

When trying to persuade somebody to do or believe something, you're asking them to trust you. Building trust with everyone in your workplace, whether they are your boss, colleague, or a regular client, makes your persuasion attempts more likely to succeed. Developing a reputation for being trustworthy helps when you need people to believe that what you want will also benefit them. If you show that you're selfless and willing to help, others are likely to return the favour.

Related: Top Negotiation Skills You Should Possess

Be aware of the situation

To have the best chance of succeeding in a persuasive conversation, you can benefit from being aware of the best time and place to host your conversation. Approach the person you wish to persuade when they're in a location where they feel at ease and comfortable. You can also pick a time when they're receptive and less stressed, like during a lunch break or at the start of the week.

Connect or find common interests

Persuading some people is much easier if they can relate to you. Try to find common interests at the beginning of a conversation in which you want to persuade someone, or establish things that you have in common. These can even be as simple as mutual goals or shared problems. If you can find areas where you agree from the start, your listener may open up more to your other ideas.

Use both facts and feelings

To most effectively persuade someone, it's wise to use both facts and emotional motivators. Presenting indisputable evidence for why your viewpoint is valid is an effective means of persuasion, but so is appealing to their emotions. For example, if you're a car salesperson, you can persuade the customer by showing them the competitive pricing, high safety rating, and mileage scores. You can combine this tactic with appealing to their emotions by describing the kind of road trips they could take their family on. Using facts and feelings in tandem is a highly effective method for persuasion.

How to improve persuasion skills

Improving your persuasion skills is something you can do every day. Whether at work, at home, or with your family, you can build on these skills in many ways. Here are a few steps you can follow to improve your persuasion skills:

1. Cultivate relationships

When you're trying to persuade someone, you're using the relationship you have with them as a basis for why they might trust you. Build trust and rapport with your coworkers, clients, and friends to develop relationships that make persuasion much easier. Even if you never use your persuasive skills on these people in your life, cultivating relationships with them helps you practice your interpersonal and emotional intelligence skills. Building new relationships at work is also a good way to develop connections you can leverage later.

2. Build your confidence

Having a high level of confidence is a way to make people more likely to believe you when you're trying to persuade them. Having confidence in your viewpoint inspires others to believe you and makes persuasion easier. You can also give the impression that you have confidence by maintaining eye contact and facing them directly. You may benefit from practicing your persuasive speeches in advance and avoiding nonverbal signals that make you seem nervous.

3. Practice your communication skills

Try to stay aware of how you interact with others while you develop your professional and personal communication skills. Find opportunities to start up conversations with your colleagues, or join in conversations others are having when appropriate. Contribute to group discussions and be an active member during meetings. Developing your communication skills also develops your ability to be persuasive.

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