Persuading with Integrity: Questions Have Persuasive Power
This continues my series of posts about the useful assumptions I have defined over my career and work. Useful assumptions, used correctly, help you to persuade with integrity and create change for the better.
Recently I posted about how, you cannot not influence people. Today we’ll cover the persuasive power of questions.
Have you ever been asked something and felt completely confused by it? Ever been asked a question and found yourself defending yourself against its implication and influences? A question takes the listener’s mind down a particular road, whether it’s the road of agreement or disagreement, of finding examples or finding counter-examples.
It is entirely possible to ask a set of questions that changes a person’s mind. It is entirely possible to ask a question that gets a conversation back on track, or takes it way off the beaten path. We set direction, expectation and emotional reaction into motion with our questions. We create relevancy and expose motivation and intent with our questions.
Knowing you can do this, and knowing what you intend to do with this, gives you a lot of flexibility in terms of leading people where you want them to go. If influence is a given, then questions are a powerful intervention in the thinking of others. You can ask for relevance, intent, motivation, deeper understanding, and a whole host of other ties to your persuadees, can invite thought, and solicit agreement.
Most people have all the answers. It is the questions that they don’t have. You can provide them.
You can persuade with integrity to create positive change.
Change your mind. Change your life. Change your world.
Rick is a best selling author and the founder of the Art of Change Skills for Life. His book titles include, Dealing with People You Can’t Stand: How to bring out the best in people at their worst, Life by Design and Influence and the Art of Persuasion. These days he is spending quality time away from the spotlight enjoying the company of his wife and practicing his electric guitar.