The world today is changing , and so is the workforce. Although it might be an exaggeration to say that gender disparity or discrimination has been greatly reduced, but certainly, the winds of change are blowing. It is heartening to note that women in all sectors and organizations are becoming active heads of groups of decision-makers. And to be on top of their game, it follows that they need to brush up on certain skills to boost their chances or fulfil their ambitions as much as possible.
Speaking from my experience, I strongly think one such skill that needs improvement as far as women as concerned is persuasion. Of course we have all heard sexist comments about women being better at persuading than their male counterparts, but let's not forget the simple fact that ‘persuasion’ itself has no negative connotation. And in a tough world where no one gives and inch, women need to learn to be persuasive, not only to ensure that their work gets done, but also to improve their confidence.
A few of the tips which worked for me and possibly can work for larger audience to improve persuasion skills are:
Tip 1# Arguing logically with a soft tone: The present industry is such where different people have different approaches in terms of analyzing and understanding of any existing situation. Arguments are thus indeed common in all situations and one needs to make the right point with the right precision, and more often than not, with the right tone. No doubt, a person who makes good argument is indeed one having a good understanding of the situation as well as cognitive abilities.
Tip 2# Persisting with the right tempo: Success or achievement is something which comes with individual persistence, but often people do not persist with their targets. In the case of women, it is common or a regular feature to have many hurdles or obstacles to achieving their targets . In such a scenario it is important to persist with the right tempo, and continue to focus until the target is achieved with utmost precision.
Tip3# Mirror study: Persuasion is something which is coherent with self evaluation of a person. Thus every now and then it is important to have an honest mirror study of oneself. It's a known fact that self evaluation can be extremely pivotal in bringing about a positive change in a person. Thus every woman, irrespective of her choice, should opt for self evaluation and adopt the mirror study method to improve her persuasion skills time and again.
Tip4# Confidence quotient: Persuasion or the ability to persuade someone is directly proportional to the confidence quotient of a person. A confident woman is someone, who can not only lead in situations, but also be path breaking in her approach. Self evaluation and confidence of a person are two integral aspects which lead towards individual development and growth. So improving your confidence quotient is highly recommended.
Tip5# Finding a common platform to initiate conversation: Persuasion is all about having right conversation. If you want to begin a conversation with a person, first of all you need to find a subject of common interest. No verbal communication or interaction can begin without a common platform. It does not imply that one has to fake interest in an issue, rather there should be certain level of genuine approach to any communication.
Tip6# Taking notes in meeting: Making notes in a meeting is a very useful habit. Not only is this a confidence building measure as far as the client in concerned, but it also helps in understanding the subject matter better.
Tip7# Sincerity in finding probable solutions: This is vital, especially when the target is all about accomplishing the task at hand. A woman can't afford to be confused or hesitant in her approach as it can imply indecisiveness. Finding a solution every single time may not be possible within the constraints, but a sincere dedicated approach in trouble shooting or problem solving is always appreciated.
Tip8# Perfecting body gestures or non verbal communication: Non verbal communication is as important as verbal communication as far as persuasion is considered. Every woman should remember the simple fact that it is not sexuality, rather the attitude or aptitude and positive vibes that in are useful in persuading a client or a group.
Tip9# Making an habit of using names: It's might sound insignificant, but goes a long way in inspiring confidence. Addressing colleagues or counterparts with their names is a great tool in smoothening out personal interactions.
Tip10# Utilizing personal strength: This is a significant issue which has to be taken in to consideration. Often many women are not confident of their strengths and unaware of their weaknesses. It is important to gauge personal strengths. Psychologists stress the importance of knowing oneself well which in turn boosts confidence and also converts the weaknesses into strengths in the long run. A confident woman can indeed be miles ahead than other men and women in case of persuading a person or client with a specific task or aim in hand.
Surabhi Dewra is an entrepreneur who founded CareerGuide, India's biggest career exploration platform for students, raising funds effectively from Ronnie Screwvala.