In business the goal is to have things go your way that makes sense for the business and maintains a sense of humility, however, persuasion can often be confused with manipulation. Manipulation and persuasion can be hard to direct, decipher, and apply in the right way. Let’s discuss in terms of professionalism in business.

This article is part of Effició’s executive series. In this blog series, we share the resources, tools, advice, and infrastructure changes you need to assess, invest, and shift your business.

Let’s begin with manipulation.

The word “manipulate” has mostly a negative connotation.  Unfortunately, the word has such a negative undertone linked to it since its original French meaning, which simply means to “handle an apparatus in chemistry” or in Latin to “manage skillfully.”  So really, if understood correctly, manipulation is not negative in meaning. It comes down to how you use it.

Persuasion, on the other hand, involves being authoritative in your ideas and exuding extreme confidence in your business. Persuasion is about getting people to do things they want to do. Therefore, you must manage your business encounters in terms of what you are trying to persuade your audience to do, say, or think, in a shrewd yet diplomatic way.

Think about the people who are in positions of power in our country, in the world, or people who are successful in business, politics, athletics, or other walks of life.

I would be willing to bet that almost all of them know and understand how to get others to do the things they want or need them to do:

  • They know what buttons to push to get people to move in their direction while also adopting their ideas, values, and beliefs.
  • They can also predict what others are likely to do or not do because they have a masterful understanding of human behavior.

Being able to predict the behavior of others can almost be as powerful as being able to control it! This can be manipulation, or…it can be persuasion. It comes down to intent, motivation, and words.

To apply the power of persuasion as a business strategy instead of manipulation, one must:

  • Speak from a position of expertise
  • Talk authoritatively by showing the breadth and depth of knowledge you embrace
  • Have a predetermined outcome in mind before an encounter
  • Be somewhat unreasonable, but not defensive
  • Stick to your course by reiterating the skills you require
  • Let go of desires, passions, and success; instead embrace truth, goals, and perpetuity

Manipulation is not, in and of itself a bad thing.  It is only a bad thing if it is selfish, undermining, and works to the detriment of your target. Persuasion, coming from an honest, CORE place of integrity, respect, and service, will “keep” you in alignment in all areas.

Learning this skill (persuasion) can be the competitive edge your company needs.

© Effició, Inc.


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