Persuasion: The Art of Influencing People / Edition 2

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Overview

Persuade Anyone!

 

Gain the ULTIMATE competitive advantage–at work and in life!

 

Master the 7 ESSENTIAL SKILLS that win hearts and minds!

 

Practical, easy, effective!

 

We all know people who are incredibly persuasive. With effortless charm, they manage to somehow gain our trust, interest, and support, time and time again. Is it a gift they are born with? Is it all an illusion?

 

No, it’s the art of persuasion, and you can learn it too.

 

Based on years of analyzing the behaviors and mind-sets of the most persuasive people around, Persuasion gives you the magic formula to master the power of persuasion–the ultimate way to achieve success in work and life.

 

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780273712992
  • Publisher: Pearson Education, Limited
  • Publication date: 10/30/2007
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

James Borg is a practicing work psychologist and business consultant in the areas of interpersonal skills and management. His career spans advertising, sales, marketing, journalism, and work psychology. An economics graduate from the London School of Economics (LSE), he also received a postgraduate degree in psychology.

James’s interests in the area of psychological magic led him to being admitted as one of the youngest members of The Magic Circle. This “mind magic” plays a popular part in his coaching sessions, and it demonstrates the advantages of picking up other people’s signals in our everyday dealings–both in our professional and personal lives.

As a consultant at Psychology Goes to Work, James offers advice on marketing techniques and the application of psychology in the workplace. You can contact James at James.Borg@pearson-books.com.

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Read an Excerpt

IntroductionIntroduction

The power of persuasion is maybe the ultimate source of advantage in life and work. It can be the critical separation factor between the successful and the rest. We all know people who are incredibly persuasive: Whatever the situation, somehow they always seem to be able to get others to agree with them, to go with their ideas, or to do what they want them to. With some people, it seems to be utterly effortless. Maybe they are so well versed in persuasive skills that it is effortless.

The good news for the rest of us is that persuasiveness can be learned and mastered.

In every area of your life, you've been involved with trying to move people—almost on a daily basis—to accept your point of view or request. It started early on as an infant, and as you grew older, all that changed was the magnitude of the tasks that you were faced with. My interest in the power of persuasion began very early in life when I became fascinated by the psychology of magic (especially mind reading) and was accepted as one of the youngest members of the Magic Circle. The Magic Circle is a prestigious society dedicated to the world of magic and illusion. Founded in 1905, the Circle has a total membership around 1,500 and members reside in 38 countries. For more information about the Magic Circle, visit their website at http://themagiccircle.co.uk.

Good magicians are masters of what are often loosely called "people skills." When psychologists were studying the broad area of persuasion and noting how we are all practitioners of this art (every day of our lives), some of them came to an interesting conclusion: They felt that of all the "persuasive" tasks carried out by human beings, the magician's task was the most difficult. Why? Because they had to "persuade" their audience (of one or many) to suspend their disbelief and believe that a miracle had taken place in front of their eyes (whether it was revealing a chosen playing card, witnessing the disappearance or production of an object, or beholding a mind-reading miracle).

They observed that, first of all, the magician would get and then control the audience's attention (whether it was one person or hundreds). They would use the "right" words, listen carefully to any volunteers (giving due respect), and get them to remember the things they wanted them to remember (often through the "power of suggestion"). At the same time, they would work out what "type" of person they were dealing with, inject some humor into the proceedings (to induce relaxation), "read" the other person by observing their body language, and ultimately get the audience to "trust" and feel favorably disposed toward them. All of which is designed to do one thing: persuade the audience to suspend their disbelief (and be entertained). A good demonstration of people/communication skills in action! But just like in everyday life, the most successful ones are those who deploy these skills effectively and have highly developed powers of persuasion.

It's been said that life is like a game of cards. Voltaire said, "Each player must accept the cards life deals him or her; once they are in hand, he or she alone must decide how to play the cards in order to win the game." In other words, the hand that is dealt you is determinism; how you play it is down to free will. So being aware of the outcome you would like in any interaction is the first step toward achieving your goal.

In the many years I've spent in the business world, I've realized the huge advantage of being able to bring people along to our way of thinking. Every day, at work—and, of course, in your personal life— you come into contact with people who need to understand your point of view, either for you to help them or for them to help you. Equally, you need to understand their point of view. We need to persuade others to join our way of thinking and "read" how they are thinking.

In short, the power of persuasion is that little "magic formula" that we wish we could get our hands on to make life smoother for us. We could define it as this: any message that attempts to influence people's opinions, attitudes, or actions.

If there is a magic formula, then the concoction is the application of all of these techniques and skills together. This will help you to take people from point A to point B, because persuasion is a process.

This book is the result of my own experiences over many successful years in advertising, sales, marketing, journalism, work psychology, and coaching–all underpinned by applied behavioral and social psychology research. Because these are all tried-and-tested techniques, my aim has been to simplify the process of persuasion by showing its application in real-world situations. The book shows you how to present yourself and your thoughts convincingly and how to "read" other people more effectively—and, in so doing, to allow you to be more persuasive and for people to trust and feel favorably disposed toward you.

It will make you more aware of your senses and help you to bring out the "sixth sense" that lies dormant within all of us. Leonardo da Vinci astutely observed that the average person "looks without seeing, listens without hearing, touches without feeling, eats without tasting, moves without physical awareness, inhales without awareness of odor or fragrance, and talks without thinking." Does that sound like a fair assessment of most of the human race (or you!)? Certainly, if I had to pinpoint in a phrase what separates the master "persuaders" from the rest, it's that they have an ability to understand what is going on in the other person's head.

An important point that I can't stress enough is that persuasion in this book, used in this way, is entirely positive. It works for your benefit—and for that of the people you are dealing with. You won't have success every time, but by honing these skills and your own self-awareness, you'll find that you increase your success rate significantly and forge better relationships. More and more research confirms that, in both our working and personal lives, it is persuasive skills that separate those who succeed from those who are less successful.

As my economics professor used to say, quoting J. K. Galbraith: "The world divides into just two types: Those of us who don't know. And those of us who don't know that we don't know."

This book is for both!

—James Borg

© Copyright Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

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Table of Contents

Introduction xv

Chapter 1: The Power of Persuasion: How Empathy and Sincerity Work Wonders for You 1

Chapter 2: Being a Good Listener: Why Listening Is So Crucial 11

Chapter 3: Attention, Please: Keeping Attention Where You Want It 27

Chapter 4: Know Your Body Language: How to Read Nonverbal Signals from Others and Send Out the Right Ones 47

Chapter 5: Memory Magic: The Impact of Good Recall and Simple Tips to Improve Your Memory 71

Chapter 6: Make Words Work for You–The Power of Psycholinguistics: Success Can Depend on Saying the Right Thing at the Right Time 97

Chapter 7: Telephone Telepathy: Learn to Use the Telephone to Your Best Advantage and Read Situations Better 117

Chapter 8: Negotiating for Mutual Benefit: Understand the Psychology Involved to Achieve the Best Possible Result 147

Chapter 9: “Difficult” People (and Their Behavior): Who Are They? 177

Chapter 10: The Personality Spectrum: How to Identify Successfully and Deal with Different “Types” 191

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Preface

Introduction

The power of persuasion is maybe the ultimate source of advantage in life and work. It can be the critical separation factor between the successful and the rest. We all know people who are incredibly persuasive: Whatever the situation, somehow they always seem to be able to get others to agree with them, to go with their ideas, or to do what they want them to. With some people, it seems to be utterly effortless. Maybe they are so well versed in persuasive skills that it is effortless.

The good news for the rest of us is that persuasiveness can be learned and mastered.

In every area of your life, you've been involved with trying to move people—almost on a daily basis—to accept your point of view or request. It started early on as an infant, and as you grew older, all that changed was the magnitude of the tasks that you were faced with. My interest in the power of persuasion began very early in life when I became fascinated by the psychology of magic (especially mind reading) and was accepted as one of the youngest members of the Magic Circle. The Magic Circle is a prestigious society dedicated to the world of magic and illusion. Founded in 1905, the Circle has a total membership around 1,500 and members reside in 38 countries. For more information about the Magic Circle, visit their website at http://themagiccircle.co.uk.

Good magicians are masters of what are often loosely called "people skills." When psychologists were studying the broad area of persuasion and noting how we are all practitioners of this art (every day of our lives), some of them came to an interesting conclusion: They felt that of all the "persuasive" tasks carried out by human beings, the magician's task was the most difficult. Why? Because they had to "persuade" their audience (of one or many) to suspend their disbelief and believe that a miracle had taken place in front of their eyes (whether it was revealing a chosen playing card, witnessing the disappearance or production of an object, or beholding a mind-reading miracle).

They observed that, first of all, the magician would get and then control the audience's attention (whether it was one person or hundreds). They would use the "right" words, listen carefully to any volunteers (giving due respect), and get them to remember the things they wanted them to remember (often through the "power of suggestion"). At the same time, they would work out what "type" of person they were dealing with, inject some humor into the proceedings (to induce relaxation), "read" the other person by observing their body language, and ultimately get the audience to "trust" and feel favorably disposed toward them. All of which is designed to do one thing: persuade the audience to suspend their disbelief (and be entertained). A good demonstration of people/communication skills in action! But just like in everyday life, the most successful ones are those who deploy these skills effectively and have highly developed powers of persuasion.

It's been said that life is like a game of cards. Voltaire said, "Each player must accept the cards life deals him or her; once they are in hand, he or she alone must decide how to play the cards in order to win the game." In other words, the hand that is dealt you is determinism; how you play it is down to free will. So being aware of the outcome you would like in any interaction is the first step toward achieving your goal.

In the many years I've spent in the business world, I've realized the huge advantage of being able to bring people along to our way of thinking. Every day, at work—and, of course, in your personal life— you come into contact with people who need to understand your point of view, either for you to help them or for them to help you. Equally, you need to understand their point of view. We need to persuade others to join our way of thinking and "read" how they are thinking.

In short, the power of persuasion is that little "magic formula" that we wish we could get our hands on to make life smoother for us. We could define it as this: any message that attempts to influence people's opinions, attitudes, or actions.

If there is a magic formula, then the concoction is the application of all of these techniques and skills together. This will help you to take people from point A to point B, because persuasion is a process.

This book is the result of my own experiences over many successful years in advertising, sales, marketing, journalism, work psychology, and coaching–all underpinned by applied behavioral and social psychology research. Because these are all tried-and-tested techniques, my aim has been to simplify the process of persuasion by showing its application in real-world situations. The book shows you how to present yourself and your thoughts convincingly and how to "read" other people more effectively—and, in so doing, to allow you to be more persuasive and for people to trust and feel favorably disposed toward you.

It will make you more aware of your senses and help you to bring out the "sixth sense" that lies dormant within all of us. Leonardo da Vinci astutely observed that the average person "looks without seeing, listens without hearing, touches without feeling, eats without tasting, moves without physical awareness, inhales without awareness of odor or fragrance, and talks without thinking." Does that sound like a fair assessment of most of the human race (or you!)? Certainly, if I had to pinpoint in a phrase what separates the master "persuaders" from the rest, it's that they have an ability to understand what is going on in the other person's head.

An important point that I can't stress enough is that persuasion in this book, used in this way, is entirely positive. It works for your benefit—and for that of the people you are dealing with. You won't have success every time, but by honing these skills and your own self-awareness, you'll find that you increase your success rate significantly and forge better relationships. More and more research confirms that, in both our working and personal lives, it is persuasive skills that separate those who succeed from those who are less successful.

As my economics professor used to say, quoting J. K. Galbraith: "The world divides into just two types: Those of us who don't know. And those of us who don't know that we don't know."

This book is for both!

—James Borg

© Copyright Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

Read More Show Less

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