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Persuasion – The 2nd most important soft skill (LinkedIn Survey) | Vince Stevenson

Posted by vince
Published on 12 February 2019

As a former techy, hard skills were everything. I needed to know this programming language and that CRM system, as well as x years’ experience of C, and z years’ experience of J++. Hard skills dominated the landscape.

Interviews with techies are not fun, because techies don’t have a great relationship with communication. There is kudos in being known as monosyllabic. Indeed, for many of us brought up on mainframes (an unusual term for young people), we would go the extra mile not to communicate. So, interviews, your golden opportunity to spotlight your career achievements, were awkward to say the least.

Enhancing these skills in the 1980s wasn’t easy, the internet was still a dream, and corporate training so expensive as to make it impossible. But when the internet arrived, thankfully it changed everything. Now, even small companies have videos and communication channels and formal spoken communication has improved, somewhat.

As my freelance career developed, I attended many interviews and was incredibly successful due to my interest and love of communication (and staying in high-impact, ultra-competitive companies).

So why do we want to be persuasive?

Well, the simple answer is that we want to shift people’s understanding and perhaps ask them to commit to action. The action could be to sign up for a relevant newsletter or show interest in a course. Whether you’re selling an idea, a concept or a plan, you need to think it through. We’re not always selling products or services. You have to weigh up the pros and cons of the arguments and then choose your tools of persuasion, your words. In the interview context, you want to display your character in a good light, you want to be articulate in explaining your background and experience, you want to create a good chemistry with the interviewers to show them that you’re a safe bet for the job.

Persuasion is a huge subject in its own right, but think about moving people to take action. Perhaps ask yourself what moves you? What makes you do something different or change the course of your default behaviours? As a human being, it’s not surprising that other humans might have the same thoughts or similar emotions. Empathizing and building trust are all important.

Persuasion is effective communication. If you’re new to this black art (it isn’t by the way), it’s reasonably easy to learn if you’re prepared to put a few days work in. In our Level 4 Certificate in Communication, we cover public speaking, interview and meeting skills. How to speak up for yourself and be heard to be a credible colleague. In doing so, it’s the development of a super skill that will propel your future career and earnings.

According to LinkedIn, companies are desperate to hire people with the following 5 soft skills:

Creativity – Persuasion – Collaboration – Adaptability - Time Management

If you'd like to hone your communication skills and improve your powers of persuasion, sign up for our new 2-day course, Level 4 Certificate in Business Communication Skills, for just £637 + VAT! Let 2019 be your year of personal change.


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