Key Takeaways

In this chapter, we’ve learned a few tools that can help you become more persuasive. Choosing what tool to use will depend on the importance of your communication. In a low-stakes situation, you might just think of the benefit to the reader and use the positive emphasis skills we learned in Chapter 4. If, however, the stakes are high or your work just doesn’t feel persuasive enough, you can use the tools we’ve discussed to increase your persuasiveness.


Key Takeaways

  • Most communication in the workplace involves at least a little persuasion. If the stakes are low, you can simply stress the benefit to the reader. If the stakes are high, you might think specifically about your persuasive strategy.
  • Being aware of an audience’s needs and what benefits you’re offering will help you persuade them.
  • Persuasion is a complicated skills and is highly dependent on culture.
  • We can use Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs to think about what motivates people. If people’s basic needs aren’t met, they won’t be able to do their best work. Maslow actually based his Hierarchy of Needs on the Blackfoot model. In the Blackfoot model, the base is self-actualization, then community actualization, then cultural perpetuity.
  • We can use Artistotle’s Rhetorical Triangle to craft a persuasive message. Aristotle believed that an effective message contains ethos (ethics/credibility), pathos (emotion) and logos (logic).
  • In “Making Them An Offer They Can’t Refuse,” Jeanie Wills suggests that persuasion is about moving someone from one “role” to another. (From the role of a person who hates pop music to a person who likes one pop music song, for example).
  • We can use the Spectrum of Allies model to change the public’s opinion on an issue. People are classified as being active allies, passive allies, neutral, passive opposition or active opposition. After identifying where someone is on the spectrum, you can think about how to move them one step to the left. You might choose not to focus on people who are in active opposition, but focus on making people who are just passively opposed more neutral.


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Business Writing For Everyone Copyright © 2021 by Arley Cruthers is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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