Persuasion is the language of business leadership. It is a tool managers use for getting things done and for achieving outcomes they ordinarily can not realize on their own. A communicator can make his audience think, feel and act in the way he intended with the use of persuasion.
As a manager, you must be an influencer to be able lead well. A good way to influence is through persuasion. Without persuasion, very little work would be done by your team members. With it, people share goals and work co-operatively toward those goals.
For instance, a manager can not be physically present for all the interactions of his team members and their customers, but he can persuade them to buy into the company’s mission statement; when the team members do, they will be more enthusiastic in convincing customers to patronize the product.
Persuasion in business communication
Business persuasion is usually a process and not an event. The communicator will use multiple communication as well as other types of influence are needed.
In business, to be able to effectively persuade your audience you must answer these three questions: why? who? and how?
Knowing your purpose and audience
The ‘why’ question is to determine the purpose of the communication. A communicator will further ask: what is the importance of the topic? what do I want the audience to feel, think or do?
The who question is to know your audience. If you do not know your audience, there is a high possibility that your message will not meet the intended purpose.
Before you start creating your intended message, take a few minute to reflect on who your audience are. Learn more about them, what you learn will largely affect what your message will be and how you communicate same to them.
So ask yourself: who is my audience? what do they know about this topic? what is their attitude to the topic? do they have biases in relation to the topic? what is their attitude toward me? and lastly, what is my attitude toward my audience?
Barriers to communication
Here are some barriers to business communication:
- Hostility to the conclusion, communicator or both
- Audience belief that the communicator is not trust worthy
- Ethical and legal issues related to the topic
- Bias in the communicator or audience
- Cultural differences such as attitude towards conflict
- Lack of background knowledge in the communicator or audience
- Power and organization issues such as a communicator seeking action from audience he or she have no power over.
There are some biases that are neither conscious of nor deliberate.