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Convincing people

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George S. Chua

George S. Chua

Everybody wants to convince you to do something. The TV ads want to convince you to buy something, the news commentator want to convince you about his point of view, the traffic enforcers want to convince you to follow his instructions, law enforcement officials want to convince you to obey the law, our politicians want to convince you to vote for them, and everyone you meet, including your family want to convince you to do something that would benefit them.

Even you do a lot of convincing yourself. You want to convince your boss that you should be promoted, you want to convince your staff to work harder, you want to convince your kids to study more, you want to convince your friends to play golf with you, you want to convince your clients to buy your products, and you want to convince everyone else to do what you want.

You may already subconsciously be doing things to improve your chances of convincing people to do what you want. However, there are specific elements in the art of successfully convincing people to do your bidding. The five C’s of Convincing are Communication, Credentials, Credibility, Connections and Charisma, which are all just common sense.

Communicating properly and appropriately is very important in convincing people what you need or want to be done. Obviously, if they misunderstand what you are asking for or saying, it would be hard to convince them to do the correct action. Depending on who you are talking to, communicating in a polite manner may be more effective than in an authoritative manner to people that may be your peers or superiors. Communicating not only means talking in the right manner but also in the correct language. I have noted that there is instant rapport with our OFW countrymen who are working abroad once they know you are Filipino and start talking to them in Tagalog, they go the extra mile to give you special attention and service.

Credentials are necessary when the conditions dictate it. If you were sick and needed to consult a doctor, you want to make sure of the credentials of the doctor you are seeing. This is probably why you see all their diplomas and awards every time you go to a doctor’s office. Credentials are also important in protecting the public interest, such as civil engineers and architects signing off on the civil works and architectural plans. The government is the one providing the legitimate degrees and titles to convince people that these professionals have met certain standards to perform their services.

Credibility in many cases, is even more important than the credentials. A nutritionist may have all of the credentials but if they themselves are not in the right shape, such as by being obese, then they would have difficulty in establishing their credibility. Much like a lawyer may have passed the bar exam, but has never won a case, would have little credibility with their potential clients who would probably look elsewhere. Credibility means that people trust you as someone who is successful, has the authority and will take responsibility for his actions.

Connections or the network that one has, adds to the convincing powers of a person. If other people know you have connections or close with people in authority, they will be more inclined to trust you since they are convinced you must know better. For example if the employees know you are very close to the President of the company, it would be easy to convince them to do what you want. After all, they don’t want you to say anything bad about them to the President.

Charisma is the clincher in convincing people of what you say. People pay attention to someone they like or looks pleasantly respectable. If you have a charming personality, dress and look the part, you got it made! Convincing people is an art that takes skill to master and the application of the above elements depends on who you are trying to convince and what you are trying to achieve. Once you have mastered this art, you will notice that it becomes easier to succeed!

(Comments may be sent to georgechuaph@yahoo.com)

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