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Verbal Persuasion Tools: Persuading the Boss

It is a common knowledge that words are not just a means of communication, but also a tool that has a significant impact and influence on people. The ability to use intonation, diction, volume, facial expressions and gestures properly is the key to the successful techniques of persuasion. People use the tools of persuasion when it is necessary to prove something, impose their point of view or defend it. Among the methods of managerial impact, persuasion tools are the most difficult because, in most cases, they cannot be used efficiently by the people who are not familiar with psychology, especially when addressing someone of a higher rank. However, there are some verbal persuasion tools that are rather accessible and do not require deep knowledge of psychology. Therefore, the following essay is dedicated to the description of the four tools, with the provision of examples drawn from the bank that experiences the effects of the financial crisis.

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1. The Dispersion Tool

Dispersion is one of the easiest tools used to persuade others. In case a person objects in response to the arguments, it is important to show that there is no conflict in the conversation, and all speakers share the same goal. For example, it is possible to imagine the situation that is often faced by the bank workers. During the meeting, the manager presented a report, which showed that the financial results of the bank have decreased. In order to improve the situation, it was proposed to cut the wages of the ank workers by 10%. Of course, no one was pleased with such a decision and the conflict emerged. However, by using the dispersion, it was possible to “scatter” the conflict by ensuring that everyone has agreed that they have the same goal, although the methods of its achievement are different. Therefore, after listening to both of the sides, one of the workers said: “Wait a minute! I do not quite understand the merits of the dispute. I see that you are both aiming for the same goal as you want the bank to improve its financial results and increase its revenue. I suppose everyone strives for it. Now let us calm down and discuss how we can solve the problem and minimize the risk. I think all of you will agree with me.” As a result, the manager and the bank workers were able to view the situation from a different angle and came to a decision that pleased both sides. Instead of a wage cut, a system of loyalty for clients, together with a system of bonuses for the best promoters, was introduced. Moreover, the effect of the dispersion could have been improved even more in the case of pinpointing the best traits of each of the sides of the conflict. For example, Mr. Smith is one of the best promoters of the bank, and Mr. Jones is good at accounting. Therefore, if they cooperate, the bank will improve its financial results without overestimating its abilities.

2. “I am not offended” Tool

The following tool of verbal persuasion is quite interesting. By using this method, it is posssible to show people that one is unhappy with their actions without saying so explicitly. For example, the chief financial officer (CFO) was not satisfied with the activities of the bank at the moment due to the low financial results. Therefore, he said something like: “It seems that every time there are any negative changes in the bank, they occur due to our workers!” In general, he is a qualified professional and a leader, who has always worked diligently, but at the moment, he was upset. Of course, it was impossible to ignore his statement, and, moreover, it was undesirable that he continued to think in such a way. This situation was the case when the “I am not offended” method came into play. The CFO was told: “Mr. Smith, many people would have taken offense to your words, but I want you to know that I am not offended. In fact, I am sure that in reality, you do not think so. You always were an excellent manager, and I do not expect you to radically change your opinion about the bank and, particularly, your team because of such minor problems.” The advantage of this method is that it is possible to say one thing, but give the other person an understanding that something completely different was meant. As a result, the CFO was shown that the bank workers did not want the conflict to break out, but they also were not going to tolerate such treatment. Therefore, the conflict was resolved before it had even started. Moreover, the effect of this method could have been even greater if it would be applied before the group of bank workers.

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