Course Outcomes

This influence and persuasion skills course will:

  • Explain how influence and persuasion differ from coercion and manipulation.
  • Outline how beliefs and values are formed.
  • Offer a range of tools for influencing others.
  • Suggest strategies for overcoming biases.

Course Overview

With coercion, manipulation, and threats, you can make people take action, but the lasting effects of such efforts can be detrimental to workplace relationships. This persuasion and influence course focuses on practical tools and techniques for gaining commitment from others, fostering collaborative problem solving, addressing biases, and using interpersonal skills to encourage people to take action. During this interactive program, participants will explore a range of models, ideas, and tools for growing their ability to get people to act because they want to and not because they are forced.

Program Objectives

At this program’s conclusion, participants should be able to:

  • Explain the value of influence and persuasion.
  • Outline how people make decisions.
  • Describe how beliefs, values, and attitudes influence behaviors.
  • Discuss the Johari Window as a framework for understanding disclosure.
  • Demonstrate push and pull methods of influence.
  • Explain Dr. Robert Cialdini’s six principles of influence.
  • Outline how biases influence decisions and tactics for recognizing, reducing, and neutralizing them.

The following outline highlights some of the course’s key learning points. As part of your training program, we will modify content as needed to meet your business objectives. Upon request, we will provide you with a copy of the participant materials prior to the session(s).

Workshop Outline

Only Time Will Tell: Understanding Persuasion Influence

This course begins with a discussion about persuasion and influence and how those activities differ from manipulation and coercion. Next, participants will identify people who have influenced them over the years and the groups they would currently like to influence and why. Next, we will talk about how people make decisions and the importance of appealing to the head, the heart, the hands or a combination of the three.

Try to See It My Way: The Power of Beliefs, Values, and Attitudes

Beliefs are the foundation of all we say and do. They influence values and behavior. In this portion of the program, we will examine a model that explains how beliefs, values, and attitudes influence behaviors. Working individually, participants will create a values map. This activity will illustrate the differences found in the classroom and how they mirror the range of beliefs found in the wider world. Next, participants will complete an influencing-styles assessment, and we will discuss the results: the participants’ preferred styles, the pluses and minuses of the various styles, and when each offers a tactical advantage.

While You See It Your Way: Seeking to Understand

You can’t influence in a targeted way if you don’t understand the place from which another person is coming. This seminar segment focuses on rapport building, mirroring, questioning skills, and reflective listening. During this part of the workshop, we will also examine the Johari Window, a model created in the 1950s by psychologists Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham. Their framework outlines various degrees of self-awareness and exposure. We will discuss how trust or lack of it alters the size of the window’s panes and our ability to make a genuine connection with and thus influence other people.

So, I Will Ask You Once Again: Push or Pull

Depending on the situation and circumstances, influencers must choose between a push or pull approach. This course component looks at both options and when they make sense. Next, we will look at Dr. Robert Cialdini’s six principles of influence and examples of each. Then, participants will consider several case studies and craft an approach to addressing the situations they describe.

We Might Fall Apart Before Too Long: Exploring Bias

A bias is a partial perspective or a preferred way of perceiving the world, and those preferences often discount equally valid alternatives. This part of the course looks at biases and how they can affect perceptions. We will explore 25 common biases and tactics for recognizing, reducing, and neutralizing them.

By the conclusion of this influence and persuasion training program, participants should have a solid understanding of the options available to them for affecting others’ actions and beliefs.