Why Persuasion is a Critical Communication Skill

Mar 20, 2024 | By Jenna van Schoor

When you think of “persuasion”, you might think of someone being pushy or manipulative. However, there is an effective way to persuade. It can be critical for effective communication. This skill is especially relevant when having difficult conversations or working with others to achieve goals. 

Being persuasive is being sure of yourself and what you believe in. To build this capacity, we need to learn more about how we show up to navigate challenging situations confidently. 

This post explores why persuasion skills are essential and gives insight into how to develop them.

6 Reasons Why Persuasion is a Critical Communication Skill

1. Builds trust

When you’re grounded in your sense of self, you can convince people that your beliefs are valid and build trust.

If you are not grounded in yourself, it will be hard to win people over or encourage them to go along with your ideas, no matter how good they are!

You might not be able to change everyone’s point of view. But, people find it easier to trust someone with the courage of their convictions. Even if you disagree on specific topics within your team, being sure of yourself can help you find common ground with others.

2. Encourages action

We live in a world of brilliant concepts, but only some ideas are realistic and timely. However, if we can persuade others to believe in us, we can take action instead of just talking about ideas.

In a work environment, being convincing shows strong leadership potential and can get people on board. However, a good leader doesn’t steamroll others. Instead, someone with true persuasive power will be able to steer people towards a point of view and also collaborate with others to achieve the best outcome.

3. Promotes understanding

Persuasion can manipulate people but can also help build better relationships and promote understanding when used constructively. 

If we take the time to think about it, advertising and media messages persuade us to do or buy things daily. Arguments about ethics aside, effective marketing is about having a core brand message and communicating this effectively to people by understanding their needs.

If we apply this concept to dealing with people, persuasion requires a solid sense of self (or brand) and understanding why others want to listen to you (to meet customer needs). In essence, persuasive skills are excellent personal marketing skills.

4. Enhances communication skills

You need strong interpersonal communication skills to influence the beliefs, attitudes and behaviours of others. Convincing others of your point of view requires you to be well-spoken and get your point across succinctly.

A deep insight into emotions and human behaviour and what drives people to behave the way they do is also needed. Being a clear communicator can make all the difference during difficult conversations or when trying to convince people to do something.

Thanks to advances in neuroscientific research, it’s now possible to see how effective persuasive techniques are using brain scanning technology. By diving deeper into how our brains respond, we can become even better at communicating effectively!

5. Facilitates negotiation

Persuasion skills can help keep everyone on track when having challenging conversations or working through mistakes or unpleasant circumstances.

Conflict is challenging for most of us. But, if we can keep a clear head and communicate clearly, we can always ensure the best possible outcome for ourselves and those we work with. 

Effective mediation requires convincing both parties of the validity of both arguments and finding a middle ground. While both parties will argue their case, settling differences and reaching a common goal could be the ultimate test of persuasive ability.

6. Drives change

We can see the results of persuasion all around us, both positive and negative. For example, in the advertising and marketing messages around us. Or, more generally, in how society has developed or the dominance of certain political parties or ways of thinking. 

However, if we focus on the positive possibilities that can come from being able to motivate, drive and influence people, we can focus more on what is best for the greater good.

It’s not easy, but no one wants to be pushy or a pushover. Instead, we can collectively develop a stronger sense of ourselves and our beliefs. We can build stronger foundations for better communication, negotiation and advocating for our needs and those of others.

Learn more about persuasion with SACAP Global

Effective interpersonal communication will only become a more in-demand skill as our society grows and evolves rapidly.

As we’ve discussed, building confidence and being able to persuade people is valuable because it can empower you to influence the beliefs, attitudes, and behaviours of others. 

It can also help people achieve their goals, whether trying to sell a product, convince others to take action, or build trust and better relationships.

If you’re interested in learning more about how to communicate your ideas and be able to put your persuasive skills into action, sign up for one of our online short courses: How to Have Critical Conversations, Effective Interpersonal Skills or Advanced Interpersonal Skills.

Previous post

Next post