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What’s The Big Deal About Persuasive Communication?

Posted Apr 26 2010 12:00am

Today is the day when I feel compelled to say WAKE UP!  LOOK AROUND!  THE WORLD IS WAITING FOR YOU TO BE MORE PERSUASIVE!  I’ve been writing this blog for two years now, and yet it seems that I’m just getting started.  In a subject this deep, I’ve only scratched the surface of it, and there’s so much left to say.   Yet when the subject is persuasion, even a little bit of knowledge and skill has tremendous power to increase influence and bring about positive change.

I’m sure you can read it in my words, and hear it in my voice, and see it in my eyes when I speak on the subject, that I think persuasive communication is a really big deal. Why?

Your company, your family, your community, your country and the world itself may have to depend on your ability to be persuasive. That’s not hyperbole. That’s a fact. Just think of how much money and income is lost because of a failure to persuade, that maybe YOU’ve lost or missed out on. How many great ideas disappear into the mist of time because of a failure to persuade, YOUR ideas. Maybe a failure even to persuade yourself! And consider this: If you have the answer to a question, or the solution to a problem, and you are unable to persuade others, then the people who need that answer or solution have no hope.

So as far as I’m concerned, this subject of persuasive communication is a big deal.

Yet if you are like most people, most of what you know about persuasive communication has its roots in the generalizations and distorted memories of your childhood, your early childhood actually, when you were learning to talk at a time when no one could tell you how. You learned what to say and how to say it in order to get your needs met from specific people, using their specific communication patterns as your guide. You then used this as your baseline, adding to it through trial and error, sometimes giving credit to skills that weren’t all that great, sometimes failing to notice other skills that would have served you well. And to this very day, when there’s something you care about, something that matters to you, something want to make happen that requires the involvement of others, you rely on a set of skills that very likely hasn’t been updated for this moment in your life.

“The general who wins the battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses makes but few calculations beforehand.” – Sun Tzu

So yes, I think persuasion is a really big deal. And it seems to me that if more people were more practiced at it, the world itself would reap the benefits repeatedly.  There’s not a day that goes by where I don’t see the painful consequences of a failure to persuade, or worse, where someone successfully persuaded others to act against their own interests.  It doesn’t have to be that way.  But that means you have to make it your personal mission, and take the time to learn to persuade .  I’ve got a free mini-course that will help you, and you’ll find it at http://learntopersuade.com .

If you really want to accelerate your learning, consider my 8 CD audio program, Insider’s Guide To The Art of Persuasion (available in the online store at TheArtofChange.com .  It’s fun and fast paced, and you can stop the audio at any time to do the recommended activities and exercises.

At the very least, you can post your questions about persuasion right here on my blog and I will answer them to the best of my ability.  Fair enough?

Be well,

Rick

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