Persuasive Communication: More Transitional Openers
For those of us involved in fine-tuning our skills in The Art of Persuasion, you will recall that every persuasion interaction has three phases.
- Phase One is trust building, discussed here.
- Phase Two is the Transition—where you complete listening and begin the shift to talking. Here are my 2 previous posts on Transitional Openers.
- Phase Three is where you present your persuasion proposition (we’ll get into that in a few days)
This post continues with two additional Transitional Openers—claim the bridge and one step at a time.
Claim the bridge
“…I want to tell you about (provide a short summary of your desired outcome.)”
This works well when time is short and there are other items on the agenda. It also works great with the communication need for action because it is direct and to the point.
One step at a time
“… I want to discuss/explore/develop an idea with you that (short summary of the desired outcome.)”
This connective phrase offers opportunity for discussion, and the implication is that your proposition is a work in progress with a few details to iron out. This slightly indirect approach works well when submitting an idea to your team, or when you are dealing with someone with the communication need for accuracy. It leverages the fact that people are more likely to agree to an idea that they own.
Opener, Before Presenting Persuasion Proposition
If you notice that your persuadee isn’t crossing the bridge with you at any point, stop, go back into Phase One and find the missing information, before re-entering Phase Two. You do not need to provide your proposal yet. The purpose of the Opener is to give you an interesting start.
In my next post, I’ll share some additional tools to combine with the above. Then you’ll have the ingredients for a smooth transition.
Practice listening during the Transitional Phase to determine if your persuadee is “crossing the bridge with you”. Careful not to present your persuasion proposition too early!
Change your mind. Change your life. Change your world.