When Your Way is the Right Way: The Methodology of Persuasion

Persuasion methodology | Bethesda psychotherapistTo be persuasive is an important skill that can help you get ahead — and make you happier — at work, at home, and in social situations, too. But that’s not all it’ll do: Learning the tricks of persuasion can also provide unique insight into how and when they’re being used on you.

Consider the following subconscious, but very persuasive techniques.

With these simple techniques, and a little practices, soon you’ll convince everyone around you that your way is the best way, and leave them wondering why they ever thought differently.

Use framing to influence thought.

Framing, put simply, is a way to change how we sort, categorize, associate, and assign meaning to events, objects, or behaviors. An example? A pessimistic person would say, “This glass is half empty.”, thus calling specific attention to the empty part of the glass, while an optimist uses language to point out the full portion of the glass.

There is where the power of framing as a tool for persuasion lies. The word you choose will conjure images that carry positive, negative, or neutral connotations, thus influencing how the person to whom your are speaking feels or thinks about a subject.

Use the mirroring technique.

This practice of mimicking the movements and body language of the person you are trying to persuade creates a sense of empathy; he or she will understand that you understand their problem or need, and will more readily accept the solution you have offered.

Mirror hand gestures; lean forward or away from the person; or mimic various head and arm movements. The truth is, we all do this naturally, and becoming aware of its power will only work the tool to your advantage. But take care to be subtle, so your actions won’t be seen as mocking.

Use herd behavior to influence a decision.

It’s the concept of herd behavior that you’ll find at play behind peer pressure, and herd behavior that caused your mom to say, “If So-and-So jumped off a bridge…” But when employed under just the right circumstances, this tactic has the invaluable power to position you as an effective leader.

Human beings as a species are observant; we watch what those around us do before deciding how to act ourselves, for no reason other than we crave acceptance. It’s for that reason that we are far more likely to follow or be persuaded by someone we like.

Be charming and confident; praise a leader the person whom you are trying to persuade admires; trigger positive thoughts in that person’s mind, and they’ll likely associate those same qualities with you.

To be persuasive is a skill that will help you get ahead and make you happy, and one that requires at least a basic knowledge of human psychology; for more information, and help influencing those around you, contact Bethesda, MD’s experienced psychotherapists at Keith Miller Counseling & Associates.

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