The Three Don’ts of Persuasion


Here is another valuable Management Tip of the Day from Harvard Business Review. To sign up for a free subscription to any/all HBR newsletters, please click here.

Persuading people to believe in your idea is a critical leadership skill. But too many managers don’t know how.

Here are three tactics to try next time you need to gain consensus or secure a deal:

1. Don’t make the hard sell. Setting out a strong position at the start gives opponents something to fight. It’s better to present your position with reserve, so you can adjust it if needed.

2. Don’t resist compromise. Compromise is not surrender. People want to see that you are flexible enough to respond to their concerns and incorporate their perspectives.

3. Don’t assume it’s a one-shot deal. Persuasion is a process. You’ll rarely arrive at a solution on the first try. Listen, test your position, and then refine it based on the group’s input.

Today’s Management Tip was adapted from Guide to Managing Up and Across.

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