I believe that one of the most important skills you can learn is the art of persuasion. Persuasion is powerful because it allows you to influence the behavior of others, positively or negatively. When used correctly, persuasion gives you the power to climb the ladder both personally and professionally

As someone who has studied advertising, Dale Carnegie’s book “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” was a book that I have read cover to cover multiple times. This book has some incredible insights for advertising and understanding how audiences think, but it also has step by step instructions on influencing people to do things your way, while making them think it was their decision in the first place.

Here’s a couple of insights from the book that can help when you need to persuade someone:

  • The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it.

  • Show respect for the other person’s opinion.

  • If you’re wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically.

  • Begin in a friendly way.

  • Get the other person saying “yes, yes” immediately.

  • Let the other person do a great deal of the talking.

  • Let the other person think that the idea is his.

  • Try honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view.

  • Be sympathetic to the other person’s ideas and desires.

  • Appeal to the nobler motives.

  • Dramatize your ideas.

  • Throw down a challenge.

Additionally, Carnegie gives the advice that when trying to persuade someone, never criticize them. Try to understand the other person’s point of view and take a genuine interest in his opinion. Lastly, be a good listener and make the other person feel important and heard. Behaving in this way will make people more open and perceptive to your point of view.

Persuasion is such a useful skill to have. You will inevitably find yourself in many situations that require persuasion. If you don’t have this skill, take time to read a book like the one above. Persuasion is a science that you can perfect with some practice. Knowing how to persuade people can only help you move up in the world. Make some effort to learn how to persuade if you don’t already know how.

-        Bria