Plan to Persuade

Plan to Persuade

Being persuasive is an excellent management skill. Framing communications to enlist support and helping others see the value of your team’s ideas/suggestions/solutions can avoid many misunderstandings. It can reduce or eliminate friction. Prepare the way for your team so that the best solutions have a chance to be executed.

People have an inherent distrust of the complicated. No matter the issue, people like what they understand. Simple and clear is good; complex and unclear, not so good. Work to communicate simply—without speaking down to people. This can be a challenge, but it can serve you on many levels.

Your most important audience is your team. You need them to buy into the work. Making sure there’s a common message provides clarity and can minimize errors. Test your language to see what resonates so when you approach influencers to presell, you can be confident you have a powerful story.

Regardless of what happens, clearly communicating a point of view or solution reflects well on you. Naturally, you want your solutions to be implemented. After all, you believe they will solve specific problems. The nature of a team, though, is that you’ll win some and lose some. If you’ve made your case to management but haven’t been persuasive, accept the decision with good grace and carefully consider how you communicate what happened back to your team.

Make sure you’re specific about the reasons your solution was not chosen without making it sound as if those who chose not to implement it are “wrong.” You want to help your team understand management decisions appropriately. Temper your natural competitiveness so that you don’t foster an “us vs them” mentality. You’ll win more that way. ☺

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