Logical types like myself often forget that influencing requires that you do more than just make a good argument. You also have to appeal to a person’s emotions when attempting to influence them.

Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Be authentic:

Speak from your heart (don’t read from a script) and if you have a hidden agenda make it explicit. If you don’t they are likely to detect it and may not find you credible.

  • Use effective body language:

Effective eye contact, appropriate facial expressions, posture and even dress can convey more than you think.

  • Tell stories:

What did you actually see that illustrates the problem you are trying to solve, or illustrates the benefits of what you are suggesting?
Stories are what people will remember after the conversation. Avoid stopping at generalizations such as “customers are complaining”. Tell an actual story with real characters to illustrate what you are trying to say.

  • Use metaphors:

Metaphors can elicit powerful emotional responses. For example if you are suggesting that a new initiative be done more slowly you may suggest “we need to walk before we run”.
Next time we’ll look at benefits and features.

Russel Horwitz, Principal