2. Appeal to Their Interests, Values and Needs.

When trying to persuade someone, consider that person’s interests, values and needs. Stand in her shoes and see the subject from that point of view. Listen to and respect the other person. Then tailor your comments to appeal to her interests and needs, and so she sees the benefit to herself. Demonstrate how she will benefit. Provide real life examples.

Sales people and young children do this all the time. They align their position with the other person’s interests, appeal to what is important to her, and then communicate clearly and with compelling evidence how the matter is advantageous for her.

Sales people make small talk with a customer and then say something like “I can see quality is important to you” or “this vehicle has all the features a growing family like yours will need.” Many young children are very skilled at persuading their parents by appealing to their parents’ interest in avoiding a public scene.

To persuade your boss to give you a certain matter to handle, consider his concerns and what is important to him. Figure out how giving you the matter aligns with his interests and how it benefits him. Communicate clearly and provide evidence of your readiness and a plan that eliminates his concerns.

When persuading my colleagues to be guinea pigs in the e-newsletter, I appealed to their interests in marketing their legal services in a unique, personal way. Knowing that time is precious, I also made it very easy for them. Similarly, to persuade new members to join the association, we are focused on demonstrating how we meet their interests and needs.

3. Whose Idea

A last bit of advice comes from lawyers who are excellent brief writers. They advise new lawyers to let the judge follow the bread crumbs. Don’t force the conclusion on the judge. When you seek to persuade, let the other person think the idea was his.

If you are ready for coaching to help you get what you want in your career, please contact me.