How Organization Can Improve Productivity Through Persuasive Conversation
A critical look at the nature of man and how they organize their activities compel that people must influence each other. Husband must influence wife and vice-verse. Parents must influence their children and vice-verse. Managers must influence subordinates and subordinates in turn influence their mangers. The chief executive officer must influence his managers; organization must influence both the internal and external environments of its business.
Governments do influence the people through laws and provisions of all kinds of amenities. From the few examples provided above, it becomes clear that human activities revolve around influencing issues, decisions, situations, attitudes and behaviours relating the issues of influencing things to organization settings, the arrow points to two directions simultaneously. First is a type of internal environment (the employees and the managers). Second is the external environment that includes the customers, the government and the public. Internally, organizations influence managers and employees to accept their vision, mission, strategies, culture and values. Externally, organizations strive that customers accept them and their products. They influence government to come up with favourable policies.
The next logical question is, how do organizations carry out their influencing functions? The strategy includes the use of rules, sanctions, coercion, blackmail, order and persuasion.
- What is Persuasion?
Persuasion is the process through which recipients of persuasive messages are made to accept the issues, the substance and the values in the message. It also means displaying judgement in such a way that those exposed to it accept its values. Two people or two parties are involved in the persuasion process. These are the person or party passing the message known as persuader and the person or party receiving the message known as persuadee.
Components of Persuasion:
Figure 1: Persuasion Components (Fagbohungbe, 2009)
- Credibility component bothers on looking at the persuadee in the face and tell him what you are capable of and going on to practicalise it. Displaying indept knowledge of the issues at stake.
- Logical component bothers on providing the persuadee a specific genuine reason why he should accept the persausive message e.g. to safe life, or to save cost, or to enhance corporate image etc.
- Emotional appeal component bothers on establishing a positive relationship with the persuadee. Let him/her know that you are interested in his person beyond the persuasive message.
- Principles Controlling Persuasion
- There are two people or parties involved. These are the persuader and the persuadee. Persuader passes the persuasive message while the persuadee receives it.
- There is a behaviour, which to the persuader, is desirable and wants the
persuadee to accept it.
iii. There is an objection (whether strong or weak) in the persuadee which the persuader must dismantle
- There are reciprocal benefits for the persuader and persuadee in the transaction, if it succeeds.
- No behavioural change occurrence unless the persuadee is convinced
- The Process of Persuasion
Figure 2: Persuasion Process (Fagbohungbe, 2009)
- Factors Influencing the Effectiveness of Persuasion
- Events Before persuasion message is passed
- Level of Education of persuadee
- Familiarity with the persuasion issue by the persuade
- Consistency of message by persuader
- Self-esteem of persuade
- The route used for persuasion, whether central route or peripheral route. Central route involves careful thought and arguments, whereas, peripheral routes involves emotion and little thought. Peripheral cues such as religion, sentiment, ethnicity is used.
- The tone of the message as employed by the persuader
- The value of the outcome of the message to the persuade
- Social pressure coming from laws and social norms
- The credibility of the persuader
- The perception of the persuade
- Problem-Solving-Driven Persuasion Situation
Most persuasion exercises in organization are problem-driven. Therefore, the persuader needs to follow these steps to successfully persuade the persuade
- Catch the persuaders interest by mentioning a common interest or ground
- Define the problem you both share
- Explain the solution to the problem show that the benefits outweigh the costs
- Summarize any additional benefits of the solution
- Let persuadee know the appropriate action he/she can take and justify why he/she should take it promptly.
- Persuasion Strategy That Respect Both Persuader and Persuadee
Since organizations differ in culture and values, the strategy that work in one organization may not work in another one. Therefore, there is no must strategy for all organizations. However, there are some strategic activities that are relevant to all organizations. They are explained below:
- Identify the specific action you want taken and who has the power to do it
- Try to identify the objection the persuadee may likely use to block you and device a strategy to dismantle them
iii. Ensure that your case is strong enough through
- The logical reasons you attach
- The credibility attached (expert, powerful, attractive, trustworthy).
- Credibility entails that you are factual, specific and highly reliable
- Use the kind of persuasion that is most suitable for the organsiation. This you can identify through the organisation’s corporate culture values. Usually corporate culture is not written down; therefore, it is learnt through observation and imitation (role-modeling)
- Target the emotional aspect of the persuade
- Adopt a transactional approach of adult to adult to boost the ego and self-confidence of the persuade
vii. Create a life position of, I am ok versus you are ok or I am not ok versus you are not ok for both persuader and persuadee
Persuasion as a powerful tool for influencing others and try as much as possible to use it back in your organizations, if only for its effectiveness over other influencing techniques.