Intricacies of Persuasion

We communicate for 3 possible reasons; to share information, to entertain, or to persuade. What’s interesting is that we often must use all 3 of these to communicate successfully.

How does persuasion play a role in your life? Are you in sales, perhaps a deciding board member, a lawyer, maybe a parent? We are in a world of influence, and we can very easily utilize simple tools to create influence (most of the time).

Let me be clear, creating influence as a parent is a very different situation. Most young children are not persuaded as easily as they have yet to develop deep opinions and are still learning the way that things work.

Now beginning with the obvious, we have Influencers. Social Media has helped individuals and groups create a celebrity-like persona. Companies have capitalized on this, and they contract these influencers to use, share and talk about their products to persuade their listeners to do the same.

Influencers have the tools and authenticity to attract listeners consistently and can motivate others to expand their social reach. This allows companies to focus on production and growth while the influencers work for them to speak to their audience which isn’t limited to their actual followers; they can connect with the followers of their followers who share their content. As a result, they engage in many sponsored posts, allowing them to be paid for what they share on Instagram. Brand-sponsored Instagram posts have grown considerably from 1.26 million in 2016 to a whopping 6.12 million in 2020.  Instagram influencers can significantly impact brand outreach, as influencers garner more social engagement than the advertising brand’s account.

Not everyone has the funds to pay for an influencer, so we have to rely on other tools to persuade others. The 3 tactics generally used in business are logical, emotional, and cooperative appeals. The use of these tactics will vary based on the purpose of persuasion, but they all have their basic processes when creating influence.

Logical appeals tap into people’s rational and intellectual positions. Your argument is based on the best decision. Often this tactic relies on informational conversation to rationalize decisions.

Emotional appeals connect your message, goal, or project to an individual’s goals and values. An idea that promotes a person’s feelings of well-being, service, or sense of belonging that tugs at the heartstrings and will have a good chance of gaining support.

Cooperative appeals involve a sense of connection. Working together to accomplish a mutually important goal extends a hand to others and is an extremely effective way of influencing.

There are other tactics as well that work alongside these 3. Tactics like pressure, assertiveness, and legitimating(should agree based on position or situation) were used by leaders like Hitler. These are push tactics, and while they were effective for his regime, most leaders struggle to control using these tactics.

Whereas things like ingratiating (getting on their good side), rational persuasion, and inspirational appeal were used by leaders like Martin Luther King Jr. These pull tactics are effective at bringing people in and are more effective than most of their counterparts.


How can you become influential? How can you use persuasion to garner support and drive business? Be honest and trustworthy, provide factual evidence to support your argument, tap into the emotions behind a decision, be collaborative with others, provide support, understand their perspective, be on their side, and inspire them with all that you are.