Home » General » The Mark of a Winner [column]

One of the marks of highly effective people is in their speech. The magical power to capture your audience, sway the undecided and convert opponents is a must have for today’s manager. We are surrounded by an environment that demands masters and gurus of persuasion. In a conversation, these types normally tie together individual opinion they exert far greater influence than formal power structures.

Persuasion as an art works by appealing to deeply rooted human needs.

There are so many organisations that fill the gap for public speaking skills- this is designed to train adults, by actual experience, to think on their feet and express their ideas with more clarity, more effectiveness and more poise, both in business discussions and groups.

Complementary to eloquence are excellent public relations skills that sharpen a manager’s ability to communicate with individuals on all levels.

I believe that public relations skills are attained through training rather than inborn.

As I look back over the years, I am appalled at my own frequent lack of finesse and understanding.

How I wish I had worked on these skills a long time ago.

Dealing with people is probably the biggest problem you face, especially if you are in business.

Yes, and that is also true if you are a housewife, architect or engineer.

Research done by a group of behaviourists revealed that even in such technical lines as engineering, about 15 percent of one’s financial success is due to one’s technical knowledge and about 85 percent is due to skill in human engineering, to personality and the ability to lead people.

It’s possible to learn to secure consensus, cut deals, win tenders by artfully applying principles of winning friends and influencing people.

Be warm

People like those who like them. By all means, create early bonds with new peer and bosses.

You have a chance to establish goodwill and trustworthiness. I have noticed that customers are willing to purchase a product from a salesperson that mirrors them in religion, politics, or social habits.

Informal conversations during the workday create an ideal opportunity to discover at least one common area of enjoyment, be it a hobby, or passion.


People repay in kind. In its more sophisticated uses, reciprocation confers a genuine first-mover aantage on any manager who is trying to foster positive attitudes and productive personal relationships in the office.


Good turns are one reliable way to make people feel obligated to you. Other studies reinforce that finding and going on to show how even a small, seemingly trivial commitment can have a powerful effect on future actions.

People fulfil written, public, and voluntary commitments. If you supervise an employee who should submit reports on time, get that understanding in writing make the commitment public.

Social evidence

Use peer power to influence horizontally, not vertically Testimonials from satisfied customers work best when the satisfied customer and the prospective customer share similar circumstances.

That lesson can help a manager faced with the task of selling a new corporate initiative.


People defer to experts who provide shortcuts to decisions requiring specialised information.

Don’t assume your expertise is self-evident.

Instead, establish your expertise before doing business with new colleagues or partners eg, in conversations before an important meeting, describe how you solved a problem similar to the one on the agenda.

A consumer action group reported that a single TV expert-opinion news story aired generates a not less than 10 percent shift in public opinion.


People value what’s scarce. It influences and rivets key players’ attention. You might remember the news headline stories . . . In information just received . . . Some people have experienced huge businesses by creating (ethicallyunethically) this scarcity.

Way back when Zimbabwe experienced huge backlogs, some unscrupulous dealers made a catch out of lack and scarcity of products.

This is the art of persuasion, a lucky few have it, and most of us do not.

The frustrating part of the experience is that these natural and instinctive persuaders are often unable to account for their remarkable skill or pass it on to others.

No leader can succeed without mastering ways of winning people over, it takes skill to influence people.

“Without ambition one starts nothing. Without work one finishes nothing. The prize will not be sent to you. You have to win it. The man who knows how will always have a job. The man who also knows why will always be his boss. As to methods there may be a million and then some, but principles are few. The man who grasps principles can successfully select his own methods.

“The man who tries methods, ignoring principles, is sure to have trouble.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Shelter Chieza is a Management Consultant. She can be contacted at shelter.chieza@gmail.com

Source : The Herald