At my job, I have the responsibility to oversee a few people’s performance, which they sometimes call ‘supervision’. In this capacity I often have to convince people to perform tasks that they may not always find to their liking or even make them accept the decisions that don’t sit well with them and various factors play a role in the latter – their age vs mine, their gender vs mine, their experience or seniority vs mine etc.
On top of all these factors already in place, I am a pretty quiet person by nature so it is not always easy to persuade them to agree with me. And as we are all sometimes victims of stereotyping phenomenon, I have at times linked this trait, the ability to persuade people, to those types that have the skill to sell just about anything to anyone. But,
Does this mean my quiet disposition prevents me from being effective in making people follow my ideas?
Does this mean I am less persuasive than some of my exuberant colleagues?
I believe that the fact that I am not that ‘outgoing’ or ‘loud’ does not mean I am less convincing. Being persuasive with people has nothing to do with being able to tell jokes or toss funny one-liners, it has nothing to do with winning popularity contests either.
I feel that exercising some of the following can help anyone achieve some level of persuasion:
Clarity – very obvious but often ignored. Every one in the group is going to interpret your message in their own way, based on their understanding and experience on the subject. So for your message to be understood in a way that you want them to, use simple words and terms, not technical jargon that others may not have heard of or know.
Consistency – How you deal with people on a daily basis will determine to a large extent if they want to listen to what you are saying. Keeping promises, being honest and helpful and in general projecting a reliable image – will enhance your ability to persuade people. Don’t promise what you cannot deliver.
Positive Attitude – Emphasize positive aspects of everything without putting false light on things to deceive people. Don’t disagree for the sake of disagreeing and just because you are the boss.
Paying Attention - Always be ready to look at things from the other person’s perspective. When employees are confident that you’ll listen to their point of view, even if is some negative aspect of the job, they’ll be more receptive to the fact that some of the tasks may not be to their liking but nevertheless would have to be done.
Confidence – Confidence is an extremely important trait to have in almost every aspect of our lives, yet so many of us struggle to find it on a daily basis. Self confident people inspire others and If you do not have the confidence in yourself, others will be hesitant in doing what you ask them to do.
The points described above can easily be extended into blogging. Delivering good quality content consistently, while keeping your readers’ expectations in mind, will eventually bring in more and more people wanting to read what you have to say.
Do you find any aspect of your personality having a direct positive or negative affect on your job performance?