Persuasion is an important skill. Whether you are coaxing a car salesman to reduce his price or convincing a potential employer that you are the best applicant for the job, you must be persuasive to succeed.
However, persuasion is not trickery — the point is not to con people but to explain why they should make the decision you want them to, and how doing so will benefit everyone involved.
Persuasion involves the systematic use of a variety of skills. Students in Texas A&M-Corpus Christi’s online Master of Business Administration program, for example, learn to become more persuasive through the various assignments and projects that comprise their coursework. Completing an MBA program requires statistical and situational analyses in a variety of circumstances that apply to both professional and personal life.
Research and Analysis Skills
Knowledge is power. If you want to persuade someone to act in a certain manner, you have to know what you are talking about when you enter the discussion.
For example, when attempting to persuade an interviewer to hire you, you must first understand what he or she is looking for in an employee. By researching the company’s philosophy and goals beforehand, as well as analyzing how they align with your skill set, you can explain exactly why you would be a vital asset to the company.
Although the main goal of persuasion is to convince someone to see issues from your perspective, you must first see from theirs. You need to know this person’s true goals, when he or she is willing to compromise and how you fit into the mix.
Take the car salesman for example. What are his priorities? Is he looking to make a sale at any cost? Or is he trying to squeeze as much out of you as possible? If you know what his goals are, you can determine where he is willing to compromise — and you may end up with a much better deal.
The coursework involved in earning an MBA teaches students to think like their audiences in order to meet their expectations while maximizing gains.
Beyond perspective, persuasion also depends on empathy. This requires not only seeing issues from others’ points of view but also understanding how those issues make them feel.
If, for example, you need to persuade potential customers to buy your product, it is not enough to simply describe it. You must also assess customers’ personal lives to determine the problems they face that your product can resolve (such as an iPhone enabling a grandson to FaceTime the grandmother he has not seen in years).
Once again, the research skills involved in earning an MBA come into play: they help uncover information about your audience’s emotions, desires and needs, which helps you determine how you can provide products or services that solve their problems or improve their quality of life.
Problem-Solving and Innovation
When you are trying to be persuasive, you must think outside the box. Most people distrust claims that appear too good to be true, and they will ignore anyone claiming to work miracles using “a simple trick you’ve never heard of before” — especially because they most likely have heard it before. In the course of an MBA program, you will learn to solve complex problems in innovative ways that persuade people to listen to you and leave them thinking, “Wow, I never thought of it that way!”
Learn more about the TAMUCC online MBA program.