By Jessica Salerno, OSCPA senior content manager
A crucial part of working with others is the ability to persuade people, and it can mean a positive impact on your career development.
“Persuasion is all about influencing people,” said Brian Ahearn, chief influence officer at Influence PEOPLE. “It's about changing people's behavior.”
Ahearn joined the State of Business podcast to discuss what it means to influence others ethically, how to apply it at work and much more. He’s one of only 20 individuals in the world who currently holds the Cialdini Method Certified Trainer designation and said these principles can be applied to everyday work situations.
Sometimes influence and manipulation are grouped together, but Ahearn said manipulation is never the goal, and there are three criteria to fulfill to be an ethical influencer:
“If I am being honest in my communication, and I am using psychology that's natural to the situation, I can feel good about the fact that I am trying to influence your behavior and I'm not manipulating you,” Ahearn said.
A person doesn’t need to have a certain personality type to excel at persuasion, he said; what matters more is the personality of the person you’re working with. If someone has a “driver” personality, such as Steve Jobs, that person cares less about the principle of liking and more about what can be done to help them.
“Because at the office most people would agree it is critical for your success that you're able to get people to say yes to your initiatives,” Ahearn said. “You could have the best ideas in the world and if you cannot get people to say yes to those, it's for nothing. So, you've got to be able to take those things that you think are going to truly benefit your organization and communicate in a way that gets people to say yes.”
Hear more from Brian in his book Influence PEOPLE: Powerful Everyday Opportunities to Persuade that are Lasting and Ethical and listen to the episode here.