Principles of Persuasion

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Principles of Persuasion

Principles of Persuasion

When it comes to being persuasive, there is no one way to do it. Although, there are some principles of persuasion that you can put into play to get your desired results.

1. Principle of Reciprocity

The principle of reciprocity is based on the culture or social norm that when a person does something for you, you are expected to pay them back (01). In a business situation, this principle can play out in different ways. For a team leader struggling to get the team members to cooperate, if there is a situation where you choose to cover up for the team members with the higher-ups, and you do the cover-up, that can surely do the trick. Your team members will likely feel indebted. As a result, they will be more willing to cooperate with you.

2. Principle of Scarcity

The principle of scarcity is derived from the study of human behavior, which shows that people tend to attribute extra value to a scarce commodity. Also, the notion that the commodity can be gone at any moment spurs them to take immediate action (01). As a team leader, announcing the deadline for a project while making it clear that there is no room for an extension will make your team members get the work done quickly. In this situation, you’re making time the scarce commodity. 

3. Principle of Authority

Being an authority in a field or a particular subject makes you credible (01). This means people will listen to you more because they know they can trust you. A team leader needs the trust of the team members. You can show them you’re an authority either with a degree, certification, or experience working in the project field. 

4. Principle of Commitment and Consistency

If you want to reinforce an idea or a message, the best thing to do is put it in writing. A written or, even better, a signed document brings about a form of commitment in the parties involved (01). As the team leader, you can send an email containing details of the project and role descriptions to each team member. You can also go further to request an acknowledgement of that mail. Accordingly, it is almost synonymous with signing a contract.

5. Principle of Consensus

In the principle of consensus, herd mentality is what comes to play (01). It is the belief that there is safety in numbers. As a team leader, you can have members of your team explicitly vote on some project decisions. This way, it is easy to convince a particular member to do something because everybody else on the team wants it. 

6. Principle of Liking

In general, people tend to communicate freely with people they like and can relate to. Therefore, the more relatable you are to a person, the easier it is for you to persuade them (01). As the team leader, help your members see similarities between themselves and you as an individual. You can do this by telling relatable personal or professional stories to help form the connection and increase your likability.

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(01) 2020. Principles of Persuasion. Retrieved 22 December 2020 from URL

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