Merge's Blog

Tag Archives: expertise development

What does it take to become more persuasive?

Okay, I’m super pumped! Today marks my first column for ProfitGuide.com, the online version of Profit Magazine, a Canadian business magazine aimed at entrepreneurs, focusing on how to find opportunity and seize it, management practices, case studies and access to peer groups. Today’s column is titled How to become a persuasive triple-threat and explores what it takes to get more people to buy your ideas.

ProfitGuide Continue reading

One phrase that can sabotage your credibility

ThumbsDownI’ve blogged previously about how we sometimes use phrases that cause us to be viewed by others as tentative, unsure, and hesitant, and thus inadvertently minimize our power, credibility and impact. See Phrases that diminish your power of persuasion. I heard another one recently – “This won’t take more than just a minute.”

It was said by someone who intended to be helpful, but I observed how this seemingly innocuous phrase not only set the stage for failure, but also diminished the value of what this person was offering. Continue reading

How to persuade and influence senior management

CFMD_OctNov2013As your skills as an exceptional leader and communicator grow, your level of interaction with your organization’s senior management will increase as well.  You’ll find yourself in situations where your ability to persuade and influence others will stand you in good stead.  For continued success, it’s important to realize that how and what you communicate needs to adapt to fit differing audiences.  Specifically, you need to adjust your message and method of delivery so that it’s relevant and meaningful for an audience of senior managers.  And this is exactly the subject of an article I was recently invited to write for the Canadian Facility Management and Design Magazine.

Selling to Senior Executives was penned as part of the magazine’s regular Management Memo column, and in it, I offer four suggestions to significantly increase the likelihood that a facility manager’s message is heard, respected and acted upon.  Continue reading

Phrases that diminish your power of persuasion

PersuasionAre you inadvertently sabotaging your power of persuasion by using words that make you seem unsure, hesitant, tentative, or unassertive?  You might be.  Here are some phrases that you should never have in your business vocabulary:

  • I might be wrong but …: the moment you utter this, there is absolutely no reason for anyone to listen to the rest of what you have to say.  If you might be wrong, then there’s no point in bothering to pay attention, is there?!
  • You know … (as in We need to, you know, report the safety violation): it either gets perceived as you seeking approval, or it comes across as superior and lecturing.  Either way, not an outcome you want. Continue reading

Getting your ideas across to management

The great folks at PDNet and CGA Canada have invited me to deliver a live webcast ” Getting Your Ideas Across to Management” on Thursday May 24, 2012 at 9 AM Pacific Time.   If you’ve never attended a live web event before, it’s a great way to get focused relevant learning right at your desk.  Using just your desktop or laptop computer, you’ll be able to view and hear the webcast.  Plus, a recorded version of the webcast will be available to all participants for one year.  Priced at just $129 ($99 if you’re a CGA member), it’s a steal of a deal!  REGISTRATION CLOSES 24 HOURS BEFORE THE EVENT STARTS. SO DON’T DELAY! To register, or get more information, go to http://bit.ly/KWtV1H.

When you offer your expertise and advice in the workplace, do your managers stop and listen? When you share your knowledge and experience, do your colleagues and team mates nod their heads in agreement and use it as a springboard for further discussion and dialogue? Perhaps most importantly, can you influence others, even senior leaders, to come around to your point of view, particularly when their minds are already made up? If you answered “yes” to these questions, then congratulations as you have mastered one of the most essential and fundamental skills of effective business relationships.   Your ability to persuade and influence, to get your ideas understood and accepted by others, particularly by those who are senior to you in an organization, is a key predictor of future professional and career success. But … if you weren’t able to answer these three questions in the affirmative, then it’s time to take action to change this state of affairs! In this fast-paced content-rich webcast, you’ll learn specific and practical ways to gain greater respect and influence for your ideas, and as a result, improve your track record in getting your ideas recognized, accepted, and implemented.

Is it better to go fast, or is it better to go farther?

If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together

– African proverb

A business colleague sent me this quote today … and it struck a chord. Last week I was exploring coaching skills with a group of professionals, most of whom didn’t have any staff formally reporting to them. One of our many conversations centered on how it was a lot easier to get things done by yourself. After all, involving someone else usually means that you have to invest time in explaining things, even if they have the necessary skills and knowledge. And if they don’t have the relevant background, then it takes even greater time and resources to train them. “Far simpler and less complicated to just do it myself,” several of them said. But of course the problem with this point of view is that it is short-term thinking. Yes, it is faster to go it alone, but what happens when situations arise in the future where you have other more pressing priorities? If you haven’t invested energy in building others’ knowledge and expertise, then you’re on your own! Long-term sustainability depends on building relationships and fostering teamwork, on developing capabilities in others so that you can count on support when you need it.

What do you think? Is it better to go fast, or is it better to go farther? I would love to hear your perspective.

Three things that will make you persuasive

Whether or not you have “sales” in your job title, you are a salesperson.  Even if you’re not selling a product or service, you’re selling your ideas, your points of view, and yourself.  The ability to get others to see things from your point of view is a key determinant of professional success.  Persuasive communicators are seen as confident, credible and trustworthy.  They’re likeable.  They get things done!  And the research shows that persuasive people are characterized by three specific traits.  In the latest issue of CGA Magazine, I explain this “triple threat” of persuasiveness.  Read the entire article titled Skillfully Convincing Others.

So … are you persuasive?  Which of these three characteristics do you find to be the most significant?  Please share your experiences.

Seek out specialized skills to solve workplace problems

Legions of army ants swarm in extended colonies (as many as 200,000 in one colony) over the forest floor in Central and South America catching anything they find in their way. In a testament to social cooperation, army ants do not eat each other, but instead overwhelm their prey (usually non-army ants or larger arthropods) through their sheer force of numbers. In an intriguing 2006 study, Bristol University researchers Scott Powell and Nigel Franks observed that some ants took on a specialized role in order to benefit the colony overall. Continue reading