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Joining Up - The Art of Persuasion
by Sandra Zimmer
Persuasion is about Joining-Up with another person. It requires that you hold a guided conversation with that person where you join up with his natural wishes and desires to help him get what he wants. Persuasion is what happens when someone stops being afraid of what you are going to get FROM him and gets excited about what you are going to GIVE to him. Persuasion happens easiest when there is no force or pressure from you. Instead, in the course of the conversation, you lead the client to decide what is best for him. And you give him permission to choose what is best for him.
Monte Roberts is the Horse Whisperer. He trains wild horses in a few hours by “joining up” with them. Instead of breaking the horses by force, he works with the natural inclinations of each horse. He holds a conversation with the horse, taking the animal through a set of steps that create trust and connection. As a result of the conversation, the horse does exactly what Roberts wants him to do. Roberts says the best way to get a horse to do what you want is to give him total freedom. Then he has permission to choose without pressure from you, and he will choose to join you because it feels good to him.
Likewise, persuasion is not talking someone into something he does not want or need. It requires a set of steps that create trust and connection. To be successful in persuasion, you have to let go of the outcome. The listener must know that you are there to serve him… rather than to talk him into something. This freedom allows him to choose his action based on what is best for him.
In 1978, a spiritual mentor told me I would be doing something with persuasion in the future. I thought he was nuts! Sales and persuasion were the last things I could do at that time in my life. But, over the years of coaching people to present and communicate authentically, I became skilled in enrolling people in my programs. As things evolved in my life, I found myself helping clients become persuasive and influential. So much so, that I have developed a method for holding a persuasive conversation with others. I call it “Joining Up.”
To be persuasive, you must include several kinds of content in the conversation. You may not always have to say all these things, but the more you include, the more persuasive will be your message.
When all is said and done, mastery of persuasion is the ability to detach from the outcome. Really be there for the other person, engage in a conversation that intends to support him and let go of your own agenda to get what you want. He will feel your intent and you will have a much better chance of persuading.
Sandra Zimmer is the President and Founder of The Self-Expression Center in Houston, Texas. She works with professionals who are struggling with communication, who are gripped with fear about speaking to groups or who don’t like the sound of their voice. She guides people through experiential learning programs that connect them with their natural abilities to express, communicate and present so they feel confident to share their ideas, insights and expertise with the world. Sandra can be reached at 281-293-7070 or at Sandra@self-expression.com. Her websites are www.self-expression.com and TransformStageFright.com.
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