3 Ways to Use Persuasion to Get What You Need

  • Share
  • Read Later

In today’s organizations, persuasion trumps formal power. To get things done, you need to be able to sway the undecided and convert opponents. Here are three ways to do that:

  • Give what you want to receive. You can invoke reciprocity by giving exactly what you hope to get in the future. For example, lend a colleague one of your staff members when she needs help, and she may repay you later in kind.
  • Make commitments public. People are more likely to follow through on commitments if they make them in front of other colleagues. Try asking people to volunteer or agree to things in meetings rather than in a private email.
  • Use exclusive information. Influence key players’ attention by sharing, for example “Just got this information today. It won’t be distributed until next week.”

Adapted from the HBR Guide to Managing Up and Across.

Visit Harvard Business Review’s Management Tip homepage

Purchase the HBR Management Tips book