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How To Be Heard and Persuasive, Working for the Family Business.

From a young age, I learned how to be persuasive, it just came natural to me. My Father would laugh when I would negotiate with friends for movies or even how I would get people to join in whatever I was doing. For some, the act of being persuasive, is a skill set naturally picked up on and for some it has to be learned. Sadly, some learn it for the wrong or negative reasons, taking advantage of people. However, even with my natural ability, the first concept I struggled with as a young person working for my family, was how to be persuasive.

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Granted, as a young and inexperienced worker for the family, I naturally thought I knew more than even my Father, who started the company. It happens. It's called youth. But in that confidence are fresh ideas and new ways to do things. I can remember approaching my Father with ideas and being sent packing, many a time. As I've started this blog and book project, one of the biggest topics I'm emailed about is how to be persuasive. How does one get the older family member to listen and accept the younger person's ideas? The first thing you have to do is remove the idea that they are doing poorly running the company, and you can do better. Over time, this might become apparent as you have small successes. Your Father didn't get this far in business by being that poor at running things. However, along the way, you will need some tools to help you win little battles, showing you have ideas worth listening to.

Here are six key things I taught myself to ensure I was battling a win-win for everyone and not being a petulant child or disrespecting the hard work of others before me:

  1. Be a good listener first. Learn to listen to the person you are persuading, nothing will turn them off quicker to your idea than realizing you only care about you and your idea.
  2. Do your research. Trying to persuade another just on a gut feeling won't cut it.
  3. Use framing to set up the proper mental picture. Speaking with positive and confidence go a ton further than attacking and stating how poor the other person has done. "
  4. Use scarcity to nudge up the stakes. Without lying about it, using a sense of urgency in seeing the outcome your way will help.
  5. Use timing to your advantage. Granted, some will use timing to hit another person with an idea when they are tired. That's not a win-win. It's best to determine when the other person is more receptive to new ideas.
  6. Finally, use the oldest trick in the book, make them think it's their idea. Ok, I get it, some will say this is negative and manipulative. It can be. A full-frontal assault on your father about how much he sucks at running the company won't get you anywhere. Plant the seed of the idea and let the other person take credit. We don't trust it enough but one of the best ways to become a star of the boss is to be promoting the boss. Make him look good and you will follow right behind him or her wherever they go.

It's hard enough being the child working for the family business. Being aggressive and demanding that you be heard won't help you image. The sooner you learn to listen to those before you and help them propel their ideas to the new level, the sooner you will be on track to take over some day.

What tactics do you use to persuade others?

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Posted in Business Service Post Date 01/22/2016


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