Have you ever had to persuade or influence your colleagues and show assertiveness to get what you want? How successful were you? Being able to influence and persuade are very difficult skills as they require tact to remain diplomatic.
Being able to persuade and influence are important skills in the workplace. Sometimes it can make your life a lot easier if you are able to persuade your colleagues to do things your way. However, it can be difficult to do this in a diplomatic way. In this video we will see the dos and don’ts of influencing and persuading.
In this video, John is trying to persuade his boss Amanda to let him have Saturday off work as he has an important family commitment. He is supposed to be launching a new social media campaign at work on Saturday, and Amanda is reluctant to give him the day off, due to the important timing of the launch. John and Amanda role play two scenarios: one where John is not only unsuccessful in getting his day off, but also manages to offend his boss at the same time. Following commentary from the life coach in the second scene, John approaches the discussion differently and is much more successful. He also leaves Amanda feeling assured that the social media launch will take place without problems in his absence.
Watch this Macmillan Education video.
Tips for improving your influencing and persuading skills
- Use positive and open body language that is assertive without being aggressive
- Be clear, concise and to the point
- Offer solutions to ensure that your request doesn’t cause problems for anybody else
- Be honest about your reasons
- Be willing to negotiate
Group Discussion Skills
Whether you lead group discussions or participate in them, applying the appropriate life skills to the situation can lead to a successful outcome instead of a disastrous waste of time.
Understanding the differences between positive and negative approaches to participating in group discussions is hugely valuable in a workplace scenario. To facilitate a successful group discussion, it’s important to be proactive and ensure that everyone plays a part in maintaining a productive structure.
In the first part of the video, we see a group discussing plans for a company awayday. According to the life coach, the discussion lacks focus and the participants are critical and negative; there are too many interruptions, and the counter-arguments lack evidence.
We then see a replay of the interview in which the discussion is managed more effectively. The life coach points out that the contributions are now more positive and proactive, and she highlights some good examples of linking language and responses.
Encouraging positive group discussions
Group discussions which are badly facilitated and lacking in structure can result in moving across a variety of issues without any being properly discussed. To keep the discussion flowing, it’s important that everyone plays a part in maintaining a productive structure:
- Contributions to a discussion should be proactive rather than critical and backed up with evidence and reflection
- Discussion can be robust but should always be respectful, even when you disagree when someone’s ideas
- Good listening as well as good contributions make for healthy and balanced debate
A group discussion with more positive language and attitudes leads to a more productive outcome.
- Try using linking language and praises such as the examples below to move the conversation forward:”perhaps we can begin …”
“the next point to discuss is …”
- Responses such as “good idea” and “I agree” help support others’ contributions and create a team atmosphere