Being Persuasive Requires Strategy – Particularly Among Known Detractors
Marketing leaders and business owners across industries have all been in a situation of convincing others of something or persuading others to see things from a new perspective. Detractors are never easy to work with – and changing peoples’ minds to build momentum towards your ideas is a legitimate challenge. When working with various challenging viewpoints, the key is to pinpoint why they are resisting and take a targeted approach that strikes a chord.
Friction among colleagues and professional partners is core to any work where decisions require multiple stakeholders. It is best to work toward active buy-in from your team to advance a project or an idea. New research shows that those who are most successful in working through their detractors’ skepticism are those who analyzed the root cause of the disagreement at hand, before trying to be convincing. A good strategy involves asking which elements of an argument trigger the most robust adverse or emotional response and navigating the situation with care, either through logical fact, personal validation, or by introducing a mediating third party.
When the situation is relatively unemotional, and the detractor disagrees on a factual basis, try identifying where their facts come from and where there is room for new information. If your detractor reveals some personal bias or grievance toward you by disagreeing, put in the time to build rapport with them so that they can advocate for you when you need their support. And if a colleague’s deep, inner beliefs cause them to disagree with you, bring in a credible third party to diffuse the feelings and lend insight on both sides of the disagreement.