Power of Persuasion – How to Convince Others It Was Their Idea

May 31, 2011

Dale Carnegie’s 16th principle for winning friends and influencing people is to “let the other person feel that the idea is his or hers.” By doing so, the idea will stick with the person and he or she will take more away from the idea since it is “theirs.”

Keep your voice level and do not use condescending tones. Staying neutral will help your coworker or other employees feel like you are not condemning them for mistakes they have done. You will come off as trying to find a solution to the situation, not scolding them like a bad puppy.

Do not tell, ask. By asking your coworker questions instead of telling them what you think will help the idea seem to originate in their mind instead of yours. It will also help you seem as an equal to your coworker instead of being a condescending superior.

Keep your body language open and inviting. Turn your body half way towards your coworker and keep your palms up; this will help you to not appear aggressive or defensive. Use your hands to talk instead of keeping them crossed or with your hands on your hips. This will create a sense of casualness and calm during your conversation.

When you empower others to make their own decisions, they will feel empowered to follow through with them. By asking questions instead of making demands, your role becomes a solution provider, not an enforcer. This can also help keep your reputation a positive one as a superior to others or an equal coworker, whatever your position.

Use the sandwich technique: positive, negative, positive. Focus on something your coworker achieved that was positive then ask what they may have done differently or wished to change, lastly, finish up with another positive attribute. By buffering the negative with two positives, it will help the coworker, at the start, from feeling negatively towards you or your conversation.

Keeping work relationships positive is one of the most important goals in the success of the company. Quoted from the Dale Carnegie, “The reason why rivers and seas receive the homage of a hundred mountain streams is that they keep below them. Thus they are able to reign over all the mountain streams.” Therefore, Remember, when others help create something, they are more willing to support it. Do you have any advice to give or comments to share? Feel free to contribute to this article in the comment box below.

This post is brought to you by the good folks at Dale Carnegie Training of Central & Southern New Jersey. We would love to connect with you on Facebook and Twitter @CarnegieJersey.

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