Are you struggling to get others to listen to you? These strategies will help you get through to them
Widen your perspective
To influence others, you need to make what you say matter to them. Look at your proposal from their perspective as well as from your own. What benefits are important to them? How will what you want also help them? Be as specific as possible and keep in mind that different people have different needs and aspirations. Tailor what you say to the particular person you say it to.
Predict and pre-empt objections
Don’t let other people’s objections undermine your influence. Pre-empt objections by highlighting them yourself. This may seem counterintuitive (why on earth would you want to draw attention to problems?). But the fact is you can’t prevent other people from raising issues they’re concerned about. So you may as well show you are prepared for them.
The key to highlighting objections constructively is to be ready with solutions. So do your homework: identify potential sticking points beforehand and build trust by showing how you can solve them.
Choose your words carefully
Emotions influence how receptive people will be to your ideas. To increase your influence, tap into other people’s feelings. You can do this by using ‘semantically packed words’ in conversation.
Semantically packed words are words that pack an emotional punch. They convey an idea of value, ideals or importance. Some examples include ‘bargain,’ ‘savings’ and ‘amazing.’ The words you use will depend on what’s important to that specific person. Again, adapt your message to your audience.
Headline your message
In writing, headlines instantly capture attention and keep people reading. They can also be effective when you’re speaking. If you can grab attention early on, you have a better chance of influencing people to take on your way of thinking.
Introduce your message with a short and powerful statement. Your headline should communicate a clear idea of what you are about to say and compel your audience to want to know more. And be concise: effective headlines are no more than seven words in length.
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