How easily convinced are you?? How often do you find yourself being influenced by things others have said  – or by the multitude of articles, ads, blogs, insta pics, delivered so easily to us in the comfort of our own homes?  We hear about fake news all the time – information posted and shared so often it somehow becomes a truth with millions of people supporting it’s premise.

How about those occasions when you want to convince somebody of something, maybe a fact you believe is useful for a work task you require buy in for, or you need to persuade them of something to encourage their engagement with an activity? You’ll realise there are some people who listen and are bought in straight away – whilst others remain sceptical and require much more convincing to get on board.

It might be helpful to uncover their convincer strategy.  Based on work from the world of NLP, the convincer strategy refers to the way people may process information and shows how some individuals are prepared to quite easily be convinced whilst others take much more time and need specific modes of communication before they are prepared to even consider it.

There may be occasions when you have found yourself saying – I told them that three or four times but they still didn’t believe me. As soon as my boss told them exactly the same thing– they believed it – why not believe me??

There are two parts to sussing out someone’s convincer strategy. Firstly – how do they need the information shared with them and secondly how much time do they need before they are prepared to accept it? ,

The first thing to work out is the convincer representational system –does it seem that they have to see it, hear it or experience it  before they can engage with the information? Ask yourself ‘How do you know that someone is good at their job?’ Would you have to see them do it, hear about it, or maybe work with them to experience it? If you have to see it to be convinced that the person is good at their job, then chances are you also have to see it to be convinced of anything else.  Those people who ask you to send them confirmation in writing – probably visual convincer preference – as the talking about it may not have been sufficient to cement it in their mind. Maybe there are those you have sent an email to a number of times with no action – and yet when you go and talk to them, they immediately move on it – possibly auditory convincer mode, needing to hear something before connecting with it. Others may be kinaesthetic and need to have experienced something before being prepared to go with it.

So we work out the best way to share information with someone to convince them, that’s the first part taken care of, but how long does it take to get them on board with.  If we get the route to convincing them right do we just use that and they immediately agree with us? Not so fast! People require different time periods before they seem to be prepared to be convinced. Thinking again about our colleague at work – ‘How many times do they need to demonstrate they can perform well before you believe they can?’ Take a pause and consider your answer.

Responses to this tend to fit into four different approaches

Automatic – These people  tend to assume that someone is competent unless they demonstrate otherwise.

Number of times –  These are the people who want to have something repeated several times before they are convinced.

Period of time  – This person needs a certain period of time to be convinced, could be a couple of hours, could be weeks, could be months.

Consistent  – The ones who are never convinced and require consistent  demonstration of your idea, facts, competence , quality. You have to persuade them every time.

So, next time you have something you are keen to convince others of, you can lay off the shouting about it until you are blue in the face or you lose all patience with them – and instead can embark on a strategy of convincing using the tools you know. I can’t promise success every time – your topic may be entirely unpalatable to them or so far fetched you’ll struggle with even the most easily convinced  – but it might help you to increase your chances – and we all want that right?

If you want to know more about other routes to connecting, communicating and influencing others, get in touch.