Women are such a paradoxical species. Studies prove that women are exponentially more persuasive than their male counterparts- but at the same time, significantly more hesitant to ask for even what’s coming to them. Persuasion is arguably amongst the most key skills a woman must possess- if you aren’t sure of yourself, what makes you think the world will ever be sure of you? Here are 10 tips you may use to be just like that “smooth-talking” male colleague:
1. Use your strengths
Women mostly hesitate, because a lifetime of conditioning has hammered into their subconscious, that they don’t deserve what they may be seeking. If awkwardness still holds you back, and you find yourself shiftier than ever while trying to work out a deal, only seek out returns on skills you are absolutely sure of. That adds more merit to your case, and more grit to your conscience. Once you know the drill, you can take on unknown territories outside your comfort zone.
2. Do your research, find Common Ground and use it for Small Talk
In a situation where you’re trying to get through to a person, resort to that one thing that socially challenged people shudder at the thought of- small talk. Small talk outside the subject of your interaction. Master this skill, and be creative, while you’re at it. Showing interest in the other party’s personal life will create the illusion that you aren’t simply out to serve your own purpose. Both parties know better- but the small talk simply gives them an excuse to believe that the interaction wasn’t driven by selfishness and vested interests.
3. Talk less about yourself, and more about them
In the process of cracking a deal, talk as little as possible about how the prospective arrangement is beneficial to you, instead, listen to what they need- perhaps a problem they are grappling with, and how your collaboration will be a symbiotic arrangement that will benefit them equally.
4. Prepare for arguments.
Asking is awkward as it it- but it gets awkward times infinity, if you have to convince someone why you rightfully deserve. Your overly proud brain is going to interject “this is begging!” every time you pause for breath. the best way to deal with this inescapably tricky situation, is to plan your conversation, predict all possible arguments and come up with tactful answers to counter each, in a way that your ego as well as your interrogator’s makes it through the conversation unhurt.
5. Be persistent
Again, fearing that you may sound too pushy or too aggressive, you might hesitate to ask for anything more than once. However, convince yourself to give it anther shot- and carefully assess the timing, context and circumstances. It may be possible that deal that wasn’t financially viable to an investor six-months ago is viable now. By being politely persistent, you’ll find that you land deals you might not have otherwise done.
6. Take Notes about little details
Go out of your way to make a person feel that your previous interaction, no matter how brief, was memorable to you. Professionals meet hundreds of people everyday, and engage in countless meaningless interactions. But when you take notes about smaller details- like names of their children, a cup of coffee they mentioned they enjoyed- and reference them in your future conversations, the person may feel important. What’s more, they will be impressed with your memory and eye for detail, and remember you in return.
7. Use names often
A person responds on a subconscious level when she hears her own name. If you do know the person’s name, plug it into your conversation strategically to make them feel like they aren’t any other person; rather, you acknowledge their individuality and have customized your requests to cater to their needs. This ego-boosting technique is vastly used by good conversationalists.
8. Use “mirroring”
This last one’s just a little cheat- and it is exactly what it sounds like. Imitate their body language, their excitement levels, their volume. Studies have found that “mirroring” is a popular body language technique that helps build rapport.
Featured Image courtesy: Shepherd.edu